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Presented  to  the 


by  the 



I.  D.  1207  »k.<i. 





Volume  I 


Compiled  by  the  Geographical  Section  of  the  Naval  Intelligence 
Division,  Naval  Staff,  Admiralty 


To  be  purchased  through  any  Bookseller  or  directly  from 
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1  St.  Andrew's  Crescent,  Cardiff  ; 
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or  from  E.  PONSONBY,  Ltd.,  116  Grafton  Street,  Dublin. 

Price  7s.  6d.  net 

Printed  under  the  authority  of 

His  Majesty's  Stationery  Office 

By  Frederick  Hall  at  the  University  Press,  Oxford. 


The  region  covered  in  this  Handbook  includes  besides  Liberia 
proper,  that  part  of  European  Russia,  excluding  Finland, 
which  drains  to  the  Arctic  Ocean,  and  the  northern  part  of 
the  Central  Asian  steppes.  The  administrative  boundaries  of 
Siberia  against  European  Russia  and  the  Steppe  provinces 
have  been  ignored,  except  in  certain  statistical  matter,  because 
they  follow  arbitrary  lines  through  some  of  the  most  densely 
populated  parts  of  Asiatic  Russia. 

The  present  volume  deals  with  general  matters.  The  two 
succeeding  volumes  deal  in  detail  respectively  with  western 
Siberia,  including  Arctic  Russia,  and  eastern  Siberia. 

Recent  information  about  Siberia,  even  before  the  outbreak 
of  war,  was  difficult  to  obtain.  Of  the  remoter  parts  little  is 
known.  The  volumes  are  as  complete  as  possible  up  to  1914 
and  a  few  changes  since  that  date  have  been  noted.  No 
attempt,  however,  has  been  made  to  give  any  account  of  the 
social,  and  political  and  economic  conditions  which  are  the 
outcome  of  the  Russian  revolution  of  1917. 

Russian  statistics  have  never  been  very  trustworthy.  As 
regards  Siberia,  when  given  separately  from  Russia  and  Central 
Asia,  they  are  seldom  of  recent  date.  Such  statistics  as  are 
obtainable  are  given  in  the  chapters  to  which  they  refer.  All 
figures  relating  to  population  must  be  accepted  with  caution. 

The  Admiralty  will  be  glad  to  receive  corrections  and 



Transliteration  of  Russian  Characters      ...       10 

Maps  of  Siberia  and  Arctic  Russia     .         .         .         .13 

I.     General  Geographical  Features  ....       15 

Position,  boundaries  and  extent — West  and  East  Siberia 
— Main  geographical  divisions — Rivers — Lakes — Coasts. 

II.     Climate 28 

General  characteristics — Temperature — Pressure  and 
Winds— Precipitation — Climate  and  Agriculture — Climatic 
Regions — Freezing  and  thawing  of  the  Rivers  of  Siberia. 

III.  Vegetation 44 

The  Tundra — Coniferous  Forests — The  Amur  Forests— 
The  Pacific  Forests— Alpine  Vegetation — Wooded  Steppes 
— Kirghiz  Steppes — Transbaikal  Steppes. 

IV.  Animal  Life,  Fisheries  and  Hunting  .         .         .         .51 

Animal  Life — Fisheries  :  A,  Arctic  Russian  ;  13,  Western 
Siberian  ;  C,  Eastern  Siberian — Products  of  Wild  Animals. 

V.    Native  Tribes  of  Siberia  and  Arctic  Russia      .         .       93 

Classification:  I.  Palaeo-Siberian  Tribes;  II.  Neo- 
Siberian  Tribes :  (i)  Finno-Ugrian,  (ii)  Samoyedic, 
(hi)  Turkic,  (iv)  Mongolic,  (v)  Tungusic. 

VI.     Colonization  of  Siberia 187 

Elements  of  Immigrant  Population — Distribution  and 
Number  of  Colonists — The  present  System  of  Colonization 
— The  Exile  System — Colonization  of  the  various  Pro- 
vinces— Distribution  of  Russian  Population — The  Yellow 
Question  and  Colonization — Encouragement  of  Coloniza- 
tion in  Arctic  Russia. 

VII.     Religion  in  Siberia 210 

Russian  Religion  :  History  —  The  Clergy  —  Church 
Government — The  Orthodox  Religion — Raskolniki — Sha- 

VIII.    Hygiene 228 

Climatic  complaints  —  Zymotic  diseases  —  Nervous 
diseases — Want  of  Sanitation. 

IX.    Agriculture         .  232 

Western  Siberia — Eastern  Siberia. 




X.     Live-Stock 248 

Domestic  animals — Apiculture — Dairy  Industry. 

XI.     Timbeb  Industry  .         .         .         .         .         .         .201 

Timber  and  Timber-trade — Sawmills — Wood  Industries 

XII.     Mineral  Resources 271 

Iron — Copper — Gold — Silver — Zinc  and  Lead — Platinum 

—  Asbestos  —  Graphite  —  Mica  —  Petroleum  —  Other 
Metallic  Ores — Coal — Salt — Precious  Stones  and  Building 

XIII.  Manufacturing  Industries 297 

Kustarni  Industries — Factories — Chinese  Industries  in 
the  Far  East. 

XIV.  Natural  Resources  and  Trade  of  Arctic  Russia       .     305 

Timber — Agriculture  and  Stock  Breeding — Mineral 
Wealth— Fur  and  Eider-down — Industry  and  Trade. 

XV.     Divisions,  Administration  axd  Towns  .         .         .     309 

Siberian    Boundaries  —  Governments    and    Territories 

—  Administrative  System  —  Administrative  Districts  — 
Siberian  Towns — Local  Government. 

XVI.     Roads  and  Telegraphs 319 

Roads  and  Travelling — Sledging — Telegraphs  and  Cables 
— Wireless  Telegraphy. 

XVII.     Railways 334 

General  Considerations — The  Siberian  Railway — The 
Amur  Railway — The  Ussuri  Railway — The  Altai  Rail- 
way—Other Siberian  Railways — The  Murman  Railway — 
The  Arkhangel-Vologda  Railway — New  and  Projected 

XVIII.     Historical  Notes 356 

Prehistoric  Races — Early  Relations  with  Russia — The 
Early  Conquerors — Attempts  to  conquer  tho  Amur  Region 
—The  Treaty  of  Aigun — The  Peking  Convention — Russia 
and  Japan — Russian  Advance  in  Mongolia. 

Appendix.     Weights  and  Measures — Money — Time — Calendar  .     360 

Glossary 370 

INDEX 374 


General  Orogbaphical  Map /»  pocket 


A  a  a  a 

B  T  55  e  6  b 

Be  v 

r  o/    8  g    A  in  foreign  works 

E  e  e    Ve  when  initial 

M  M  ?/  i 

I  J  i  i 

Kk  & 

Mm  ^f  m 

H  U  21?  n 

0   0  o 

n  n  ^  ;> 

C  c  s 

im  t  M  7ft  m  z  t 

y  v  u 





X  x  X 


U  n  U 


Hn  Y 


in  id  Qj  Y// 


IU  m  Wf 




bi  bi  M 




b  -b  lb  /Z 


9  9 


K)  10  K) 


H   H 


0  e 




14  H   2/ 


The  combinations  bill  and  IM  are  transliterated  i 


In  the  above  table  the  principal  forms  of  the  letters  of  the 
Russian  alphabet,  printed  and  cursive,  which  occur  in  official 
Russian  maps  are  given.  In  actual  practice  little  or  no 
distinction  is  made  between  printed  and  cursive  forms,  and 
consequently  they  have  not  been  separated  in  this  table. 
In  the  case  of  each  letter  only  the  commonest  form  of  the 
small  type  is  given,  but  in  nearly  all  cases  any  form  of  the 
capital  type,  reduced  in  size,  may  be  used. 

This  system  is  the  same  as  that  used  by  the  Admiralty 
except  as  regards  u;,  which  the  Admiralty  transliterate  tz 
instead  of  ts.  The  War  Office  system  differs  from  the  one 
adopted  in  this  book  by  transliterating  jk  by  j  instead  of  zh. 
The  sound  of  this  letter  is  represented  by  the  French  j,  which 
is  the  equivalent  of  zh  in  English.  The  Royal  Geographical 
Society's  system  is  the  same  as  that  of  the  Admiralty. 

All  proper  names  have  been  transliterated  from  official 
Russian  maps.  In  the  frequent  cases  of  disagreement  between 
different  maps  the  40-verst,  or  failing  that  the  100-verst  map, 
has  been  preferred.  Only  words  indicating  geographical 
features  as  bay,  lake,  &c,  have  been  translated.  Russian 
words  capable  of  translation  which  form  the  Avhole  or  part 
of  a  proper  name  have  not  been  translated,  but  transcribed 
into  Roman  characters,  e.  g.  Byeli,  Mzhne.  The  only  excep- 
tions to  these  rules  are  in  the  case  of  names  in  common  English 
usage  such  as  White  Sea,  New  Siberia  Islands,  &c.  ;  and 
names  that  were  originally  English  or  French  or  of  other 
foreign  languages  and  have  been  adopted  by  the  Russians, 
as  de  Castries  Bay,  Nordenskjold  Archipelago,  Jeannette 
Islands,  Valentine  Bay,  &c. 

In  order  to  simplify  reference  to  Russian  maps  the  adjectival 
endings  showing  gender  of  all  Russian  names  have  been 
retained.  The  result  of  this  is  a  difference  in  the  versions 
of  the  same  name  applied  respectively  to  a  bay  (feminine  in 
Russian),  a  village  (masculine),  or  a  church  village  (neuter). 


The  only  official  map  of  Siberia  which  covers  the  whole 
country  is  the  Map  of  the  Oceans,  Seas,  Rivers  and  Lakes  of 
Asiatic  Russia  and  Adjoining  Lands,  scale  100  versts  to  an 
inch  (1  :  4,200,000),  published  by  the  Ministry  of  Ways  and 
Communications,  1905.  This  map  is  in  four  sheets.  It  is 
coloured  to  show  the  drainage  areas  of  the  chief  rivers.  No 
attempt  is  made  to  show  relief.  There  is  much  detail  in 
relation  to  rivers,  towns,  villages,  and  tracks,  but  the  map  is 
untrustworthy  in  many  parts.  Moreover  it  is  badly  printed 
from  worn  type  and  somewhat  illegible. 

The  topographical  section  of  the  Russian  General  Staff 
publishes  a  Map  of  the  Frontier  Regions  of  Asiatic  Russia,  scale 
10  versts  to  an  inch  (1  :  420,000).  There  are  twenty  sheets  in 
all  of  various  dates  from  1886  to  1911.  The  county  covered 
is  from  about  lat.  58°  N.  to  northern  Mongolia,  but  in  western 
Siberia  the  sheets  go  north  almost  to  the  Ob  delta.  All 
Russian  Central  Asia  is  covered.  The  map  shows  relief  by 
hill  shading,  but  a  great  deal  of  it  appears  to  be  imaginary. 
Beyond  the  better  known  districts  along  the  chief  rivers  and 
the  railways  this  map  cannot  be  relied  upon.  Roads  and  tracks 
are  shown  and  a  great  many  names  are  marked.  Rivers 
are  clearly  indicated  in  blue.  The  map  is  generally  legible. 
Little  reliance  can  be  placed  on  the  altitudes,  given  in  feet. 

The  Ministry  of  Ways  and  Communications  also  published 
in  1911  a  Map  of  Communications  of  Asiatic  Russia,  scale 
100  versts  to  an  inch  (1 :  4,200,000)  in  three  sheets.  The  map 
shows  roads,  railways  and  navigable  rivers,  as  well  as  tele- 
graph lines.  There  are  rough  indications  of  topographical 
relief.     The  map  is  clear  and  legible  if  somewhat  diagrammatic, 


but  like  other  maps  of  Siberia  is  far  from  accurate  in  many 

The  Ministry  of  Ways  and  Communications  also  publishes 
a  Map  of  Communications  of  Asiatic  Russia  in  one  sheet  on 
a  scale  of  300  versts  to  an  inch  (1  :  12,600,000).  The  last 
edition  revised  to  date  was  published  in  1916  (Series  No.  269). 
The  map  is  clearly  printed  and  gives  much  accurate  informa- 
tion. It  covers  also  European  Russia.  This  map  is  a  great 
improvement  on  the  larger  scale  map  of  communications. 

The  best  small-scale  map  of  Siberia  is  in  two  sheets  in  the 
Atlas  Marksa,  Petrograd,  1910.  It  shows  Siberia  on  a  scale 
of  1  :  10,000,000. 

The  Ministry  of  Agriculture,  Emigration  Department, 
published  in  1914  a  large  Atlas  of  Asiatic  Russia,  with  three 
volumes  of  text.  It  contains  a  number  of  economic  maps 
but  no  new  topographical  work  and  no  maps  on  a  scale  as  large 
as  40  versts  to  an  inch. 

Special  maps  of  parts  of  Siberia  are  noticed  under  the 
chapters  to  which  they  refer. 

Of  European  Russia  there  are  maps  on  a  scale  of  10  versts 
to  an  inch  (1  :  420,000),  of  which  a  new  edition,  but  with  few 
corrections,  was  issued  in  1914. 

The  Ministry  of  Ways  and  Communications  publishes  a  Map 
of  the  Railways,  Roads,  and  Waterways  of  European  Russia  on 
a  scale  of  40  versts  to  an  inch.  The  last  edition  is  dated  1913, 
and  there  are  nine  sheets,  of  which  Nos.  2  and  3  cover  most  of 
Arctic  Russia.  This  map  is  much  better  executed  than  the 
smaller-scale  one  of  Asiatic  Russia. 

All  the  maps  referred  to  above  are  in  Russian.  The  only 
good  map  of  Siberia  in  Roman  characters  is  a  small  scale  one 
(1  :  7,500,000)  in  Stieler's  Hand  Atlas  (1916).  It  should  be 
noted  that  the  transliteration  of  Russian  characters  by  the 
German  system  is  liable  to  disguise  many  of  the  names. 

Maps  of  the  Amur  River  and  Lake  Baikal  on  a  scale  of 
I  :  1,750,000  are  included  in  Volume  III, 



Position,  boundaries,  and  extent — West  and  East  Siberia — Main  geographical 
divisions — Rivers — Lakes — Coasts. 

Position,  Boundaries,  and  Extent 

Siberia  is  bounded  by  the  Ural  Mountains  on  the  west,  by 
the  Arctic  and  Pacific  Oceans  on  the  north  and  east.  In  the 
south-west  the  generally  accepted  frontier  runs  from  the 
sources  of  the  River  Ural  in  the  west  across  the  Central  Asian 
steppe  lands  to  the  Tarbagatai  Mountains,  and  thence  by 
a  devious  course  that  does  not  coincide  with  the  watershed 
eastward  to  the  River  Argun  and  along  the  Argun  and  the 
Amur  to  the  Pacific.  The  western  part  of  this  boundary, 
against  Russian  Central  Asia,  is  an  arbitrary  one  with  no 
counterpart  in  geographical  features.  Siberia  in  fact  is  often 
taken  to  include  the  two  eastern  steppe  provinces  of  Akmo- 
linsk  and  Semipalatinsk.  The  northern  but  not  the  south- 
ern parts  of  these  are  certainly  Siberian  in  character, 
while  the  same  applies  to  the  western  steppe  province  of 
Turgai,  which,  however,  is  always  excluded  from  Siberia. 
For  the  purpose  of  this  book  the  steppes  in  general  are  included 
without  adherence  to  administrative  boundaries.  The  eastern 
part  of  the  southern  boundary  is  against  Chinese  Mongolia 
and  Manchuria  and  near  the  Pacific  for  a  few  miles  against 
Korea.  In  its  western  part  the  Uryankhai  region  south  of 
the  frontier  is  nominally  Mongolian  but  actually  in  Russian 
occupation.  The  total  land  frontier  is  about  10,000  miles 
long  and  the  sea  frontier  twice  that  length. 

Siberia,  excluding  the  steppe  regions,  has  an  area  of  about 
4,800,000  square  miles,  which  is  If  times  the  area  of  Europe, 
2J  times  the  area  of  European  Russia,  and  40  times  the  size 


of  the  British  Isles.  Its  latitudinal  limits  are  40°  N.  to  77c 
42'  N.,  and  it  stretches  from  long.  59°  E.  to  174°  24'  E.  The 
Steppe  regions  included  with  Siberia  in  this  book  add  about 
450,000  square  miles. 

The  name  Siberia  is  supposed  to  be  derived  from  the  Russian 
word  ChShp'B,  which  in  the  sixteenth  century  indicated  the 
chief  Tartar  settlement  on  the  Irtish,  and  was  afterwards 
extended  to  include  all  Russian  possessions  in  Asia.  Later  it 
was  restricted  to  its  present  application. 

West  and  East  Siberia 

Siberia  may  be  conveniently  divided  into  two  unequal  parts, 
western  and  eastern,  of  which  western  Siberia  is  the  basin  of 
the  Ob,  and  though  the  more  important  of  the  two  divisions, 
is  only  one-third  of  the  area  of  eastern  Siberia.  The  con- 
trast between  the  south  of  Siberia  with  its  great  fertility, 
and  the  north  with  its  barrenness  almost  as  extreme,  is  easily 
recognized,  but  it  is  a  contrast  that  holds  chiefly  in  the  west. 
The  contrast  between  western  and  eastern  Siberia  is  not  so 
strongly  marked  and  is  often  overlooked.  The  conception  of 
Siberia  as  a  vast  plain  rising  with  the  gentlest  gradient  from 
the  sea  is  true  only  for  the  west,  or  more  strictly  speaking  for 
the  Ob  basin,  and,  in  Arctic  Russia,  for  the  Pechora  basin. 
East  of  the  Yenisei  these  conditions  do  not  hold.  The 
elevations  become  considerable,  and  east  of  the  Lena  the  sur- 
face is  too  irregular  to  be  described  as  a  plain.  Low  shores 
comparable  with  those  in  the  west  only  occur  about  the  mouths 
of  the  great  rivers.  In  the  extreme  east  the  interior  highlands 
reach  the  sea  and  leave  only  small  and  disconnected  areas 
of  plain  along  the  coast. 

Western  Siberia  extends  through  a  great  range  of  latitude 
and  merges  into  the  steppes  of  Central  Asia  and  the  plains  of 
European  Russia.  Eastern  Siberia  is  much  narrower  from 
north  to  south,  and  narrows  progressively  towards  the  east. 
Mountains  cut  it  off  from  Central  Asia  and  restrict  its  inter- 
course with  the  west.  In  the  Amur  basin  it  opens  naturally 
to  Manchuria. 


Western  Siberia  has  thus  a  large  area  in  temperate  latitudes 
not  far  removed  from  Europe,  and  fit  for  agriculture,  while 
eastern  Siberia  lies  mainly  in  more  northern  latitudes  far 
removed  from  Europe,  and  its  wide  expanses  of  forests  leave 
little  scope  for  agricultural  development.  The  physical  link 
between  western  and  eastern  Siberia  is  Lake  Baikal  and  the 
land  route  that  with  difficulty  rounds  its  southern  end. 

Main  Geographical  Divisions 
The  main  features  of  the  relief  of  Siberia  are  comparatively 
simple,  and  consist  of  certain  well-defined  regions.  Two  high 
plateaux  occupy  the  heart  of  Asia,  and  extending  from  extreme 
west  to  extreme  east  cover  nearly  two-fifths  of  the  area  of  the 
continent.  The  western  plateau,  including  Anatolia,  Armenia, 
and  Iran,  is  outside  the  region  under  consideration,  but  much 
of  the  eastern  plateau,  extending  from  the  Pamirs  and  the 
Himalayas  north-eastward  towards  the  Bering  Strait,  lies 
within  Siberia.  This  plateau  includes  Tibet,  Chinese  Turkes- 
tan, the  Gobi  desert,  Mongolia,  and  much  of  Manchuria.  A 
great  part  of  it  is  desert  and  little  of  it  is  suitable  for  agri- 
culture and  human  settlement.  It  forms  a  buffer  land 
between  that  Asia  which  turns  towards  the  Pacific  and  the 
Indian  Oceans,  tropical  and  sub-tropical  in  the  main,  and  that 
which  faces  the  Arctic  Ocean  and  has  its  principal  relations 
with  Europe.  The  plateau  lands  have  always  formed  an 
obstacle  to  the  intermingling  of  the  peoples  on  the  two  sides 
and  have  discouraged  the  meeting  of  east  and  west. 

North  of  these  plateaux  and  their  high  bordering  ranges  lies 
a  broad  alpine  zone  of  rugged  mountains  and  deep  valleys. 
This  zone  averages  about  150  miles  in  width,  and  its  peaks 
rise  to  5,000  or  6,000  ft.  It  includes  the  Altai  Mountains  and 
the  Barguzinsk  and  other  mountains  around  Lake  Baikal. 

North-west  of  the  alpine  zone  comes  the  belt  of  high  plains 
at  an  elevation  of  1,500-2,000  ft.  and  with  an  average  width  of 
200  miles,  and  beyond  them,  farther  to  the  north-west,  lie 
the  low  plains,  not  over  500  ft.,  which  slope  down  gently  to 
the  Arctic  Ocean. 


Similar  general  physical  features  are  repeated  on  a  smaller 
scale  to  the  south-east  of  the  high  plateaux. 

Volcanic  activity  has  played  little  part  in  Siberia.  On  the 
north-west  border  range  of  the  high  plateaux  a  few  volcanic 
formations  occur,  but  there  are  neither  active  volcanoes  nor 
is  there  any  historic  record  of  one.  In  Kamchatka,  however, 
the  Pacific  ring  of  volcanoes  touches  Siberia,  and  several  active 
volcanoes  occur,  including  Klyuchevskaya  (16,130  ft.),  said  to 
be  the  loftiest  volcano  in  Asia. 

To  these  distinctive  orographical  features  of  Siberia  may 
be  added  certain  details. 

The  High  Plateaux 
The  eastern  plateau  of  Asia,  the  only  one  of  the  two  which 
concerns  Siberia,  covers  over  one-fifth  of  the  continent  and 
extends  5,000  miles  from  south-west  to  north-east.  It  is 
widest  in  the  west  and  middle,  narrows  towards  the  north-east, 
and  is  bordered  by  lofty  ranges  on  all  sides.  Though  called 
a  plateau  it  is  by  no  means  of  a  uniform  altitude,  but  is  cut 
into  terraces  sharply  defined  from  one  another  by  escarpments 
which  form  ranges  rising  500  to  1,000  ft.  above  the  general 
level.  The  highest  of  these  terraces  is  in  the  south  and  in- 
cludes Tibet.  It  averages  12,000  to  13,000  ft.  in  height. 
Next  in  height  is  the  terrace  that  lies  on  the  north  of  the 
plateau,  stretching  from  about  long.  87°  E.  to  long.  127°  E., 
and  includes  north-west  Mongolia  and  much  of  the  Transbaikal 
region  of  Siberia  with  the  Selenga,  Vitim,  and  Aldan  plateaux. 
This  terrace  has  an  average  height  of  3,000  to  5,000  ft.  In 
addition  to  the  escarpments  which  fringe  the  terraces  there  are 
a  number  of  disjointed  ranges,  many  of  which  run  north-west 
and  south-east,  and  others  more  or  less  parallel  to  the  greater 
ranges.  These  still  further  diversify  the  surface  of  the  plateau 
and  give  it  the  appearance  of  a  region  of  great  structural  com- 
plexity. The  plateau  forms  the  water-parting  between  the 
Arctic  and  Pacific  drainage.  No  stream  crosses  it  from  one 
side  to  the  other.  But  on  its  surface  there  are  few  well-defined 
watersheds  between  the  rivers  except  the  escarpments  which 


fringe  the  terraces.  In  many  cases  adjacent  rivers  are 
separated  from  one  another  only  by  marshes.  In  the  east  and 
north-east  the  high  plateau  is  forested,  but  in  the  centre  and 
the  west  it  is  a  desert,  and  it  is  little  more  productive  in  the 

The  high  plateaux  of  Siberia  are  built  of  gneisses,  schists, 
clay-slates,  and  old  limestones,  all  of  Archaean  and  Palaeozoic 
age.  On  these  old  rocks  occur  in  places  Jurassic  and  Tertiary 
beds  which  are  due  to  fresh  -water  lakes  in  those  periods,  at  a 
time  when  the  lowlands  to  the  north  were  submerged  and  the 
proximity  of  the  sea  caused  greater  precipitation  on  the 
plateaux  than  is  now  the  case.     - 

The  Great  Border  Ranges 

Along  the  north-western  and  the  south-eastern  sides  of  the 
great  plateau  are  continuous  lofty  border  ranges.  The  north- 
western range  is  the  most  continuous  in  Siberia  and  in  it  occur 
the  greatest  heights.  The  continuity  of  this  range  is  badly 
shown  on  most  maps  of  Siberia,  and  its  nomenclature  is  some- 
what confused.  The  Tienshan,  the  Sayansk,  the  Ulan-Burgasi, 
the  South  Muya,  and  the  Aldan  Mountains  are  all  parts  of  the 
Uorth-western  border  range.  It  is  17-25  miles  wide  and  6,000 
to  8,000  ft.  high  in  the  west,  decreasing  in  the  north-east  to 
4,000  and  3,000  ft.  The  south-east  border  range  of  the  great 
plateau  is  known  as  the  Great  Khingan  Range  from  China  to  the 
Amur  River  and  thence  to  the  north-east  as  the  Stanovoi 
Mountains,  including  the  Dzhugdzhur,  Kolimsk,1  and  Anadir 
Mountains.  There  is  still  some  doubt  about  the  exact  course 
of  the  northern  end  of  the  Great  Khingan  and  its  junction 
with  the  Stanovoi  Range.  In  most  maps  of  Siberia  it  is  repre- 
sented as  crossing  the  Amur  at  the  confluence  of  the  Shilka  and 
there  terminating,  while  the  Yablonoi  Mountains  are  repre- 
sented as  running  eastward  from  the  head  streams  of  the 
Olekma,  forming  the  northern  boundary  of  the  Amur  basin 

1  This  is  the  original  use  of  the  name  Kolimsk  Mountains,  which  is  more 
generally  hut  erroneously  applied  to  the  range  east  of  the  Kolima  River. 

B  2 


and  joining  the  Stanovoi  Mountains  which  continue  to  the 
north-east.  There  seems  to  be  no  information  to  support  this 
suggestion,  which  originated  arbitrarily  in  the  days  when 
little  was  known  of  the  Amur  basin.  The  supposed  continuity 
of  the  Stanovoi  and  Yablonoi  Mountains  has  no  existence,  and 
the  Stanovoi  Mountains  in  reality  are  of  the  same  structure 
and  origin  as  the  Great  Khingan  Range,  which  crosses  the 
Amur  in  the  vicinity  of  the  River  Kumara,  about  600  miles 
east  of  the  confluence  of  the  Shilka.  More  light,  however,  is 
needed  on  the  junction  of  these  ranges. 

The  Great  Khingan  Range  is  about  1,000  to  2,500  ft.  above 
the  level  of  the  plains  to  the  east,  but  it  rises  little  above  the 
general  level  of  the  plateau,  so  that,  viewed  from  the  west 
from  the  surface  of  the  plateau,  it  has  hardly  the  appearance 
of  a  mountain -range.  Its  crest  is  3,000  to  4,500  ft.  The 
Stanovoi  Mountains  are  little  known,  and  their  north-eastern 
termination  is  uncertain.  They  seem  to  maintain  the  general 
features  of  the  Great  Khingan  Range. 

The  continuity  of  the  north-western  range  is  broken  in 
places  by  great  trenches  or  gently  graded  slopes  which  give 
access  from  the  plateau  to  the  plains  beyond.  These  trenches 
are  the  most  important  orographical  features  in  Central  Asia, 
for  they  link  the  lowlands  of  Siberia  and  the  Transcaspian 
steppes  with  the  high  plateau  and  China.  The  most  striking 
is  the  so-called  Dzungarian  trench,  down  which  runs  the  head- 
stream  of  the  Irtish  from  its  source  on  the  plateau  to  Lake 
Zaisan.  As  it  descends  the  Irtish  receives  many  tributaries 
from  the  Mongolian  Altai,  which  stand  above  the  northern  side 
of  the  trench.  The  Dzungarian  trench  presents  an  easy  route, 
and  was  one  of  the  ways  by  which  the  Mongols  spread  west- 
wards to  nearer  Asia  and  Europe.  Farther  east  the  Selenga 
River  descends  to  Lake  Baikal  in  another  trench  and  affords 
a  much-used  route  via  Kyakhta  between  Siberia  and  China. 
By  the  lower  part  of  this  trench  the  Siberian  Railway  climbs 
to  the  plateau  and  by  an  eastern  branch  of  this  trench,  down 
which  flows  the  Uda,  the  Siberian  road  ascends  to  Chita  on  its 
way  to  the  east. 


The  Vitim,  Olekma  and  Konam  trenches  are  others  along 
the  range,  named  from  the  streams  which  flow  down  them. 

The  Alpine  Zone 
The  broad  zone  of  alpine  highlands  lying  north-west  of  the 

)lateau  is  a  complex  mass  of  ranges  and  spurs  separated  by 

Leep  valleys  which  are  often  swampy  and  strewn  with  boulders. 
Le  Altai,  Baikal  and  Barguzinsk  Mountains  are  part  of  this 

3gion.  It  has  an  average  width  of  about  150  miles  and  a 
length  of  about  2,000  miles.     The  summits  range  from  5,000  to 

>,000  ft.  Towards  the  north-east  it  becomes  lower  and  less 
rugged  as  it  meets  the  Arctic  Ocean.  The  so-called  Kolimsk 
Mountains  (see  above)  are  the  most  striking  features  of  the 
alpine  foreland  in  the  north-east.  A  longitudinal  valley 
10  to  25  miles  wide  is  often  noticeable  between  the  border 
range  and  the  alpine  foreland.  Most  parts  of  this  valley  are 
occupied  by  secondary  tributaries  of  the  main  rivers.  The 
valley  floor  has  an  elevation  of  1,000  to  2,000  ft.  The  alpine 
foreland  is  built  of  granites,  syenites  and  crystalline  slates.  In 
it  occurs  the  deep  depression  in  which  lies  Lake  Baikal.  The 
greater  part  of  the  alpine  foreland  is  densely  forested,  except 
where  the  peaks  rise  above  the  limit  of  the  tree  growth,  and 
little  of  it  is  accurately  known.  The  wild  inhospitable  nature 
of  the  region  and  the  virgin  forests  offer  few  inducements  to  its 
penetration  by  man  except  where  rich  gold  deposits  occur,  as 
in  the  Altai  Mountains  and  the  Yeniseisk  district.  In  places, 
however,  the  fertility  of  the  mountain  valleys  is  attracting 
Russian  colonists.  Routes  through  the  region  are  difficult. 
Much  skill  was  required  to  carry  the  Siberian  Railway  round 
the  south  of  Lake  Baikal. 

The  alpine  foreland  occurs  also  to  the  south-east  of  the 
Great  Khingan  Range.  It  is  70  to  150  miles  wide  in  China, 
but  disappears  towards  the  north-east  and  is  lost  below  the 
waters  of  the  Sea  of  Okhotsk. 

The  High  Plains 
Beyond  the  alpine  foreland  lies  a  broad  zone,  about  200  miles 
wide,  of  hi^h  plains  at  an  elevation  of  1,500  to  2,000  ft.     They 


have  few  mountains,  the  only  important  ones  being  the 
Yeniseisk  and  Verkhoyansk  Mountains,  but  the  deep-cut 
gorges  of  the  rivers  draining  from  the  plateau  and  the  alpine 
zone  give  a  hilly  appearance  to  the  plains.  The  plains  are 
composed  of  more  or  less  horizontal  strata  of  Upper  Devonian, 
Secondary  and  Tertiary  ages  in  which  the  rivers  have  easily 
cut  valleys  400  to  800  ft.  deep.  The  high  plains  are  forested 
in  the  wetter  north-east  but  are  steppe  lands  in  the  drier 

On  the  south-eastern  side  of  the  plateau  there  is  a  belt  of 
high  plains  about  100  miles  wide.  A  range  of  granitic  and 
schistose  mountains  called  indifferently  the  Little  Khingan,  the 
Bureya  and  the  Dousse  Aliii,  runs  along  these  plains  parallel 
to  the  Great  Khingan  Mountains.  Beyond  these  mountains, 
still  farther  east  are  the  Sikhota  Alin  Range  of  the  Maritime 
Province  and  the  ranges  crossing  Sakhalin  and  Kamchatka. 

The  Low  Plains 
That  part  of  Siberia  which  has  most  economic  importance 
excluding  only  the  Amur  valley,  and  including  practically  the 
whole  of  western  Siberia,  comprises  the  Ioav  plains.  They 
are  seldom  over  500  ft.  in  elevation,  except  where  a  few 
mountain  ranges  occur,  and  the}'  slope  gradually  down  to  the 
Arctic  Ocean.  In  some  places  an  escarpment  separates  the 
high  from  the  low  plains  :  in  other  places  the  transition  is 
gradual.  The  gradient  of  the  plains  is  very  gentle,  being  less 
than  a  foot  per  mile  in  the  west.  This  gentle  gradient  is 
continued  beneath  the  sea  and  gives  shoal  water  far  to  the 
north  of  Siberia  in  the  Arctic  Ocean.  Between  the  Urals  and 
the  Yenisei  there  are  no  hills  of  any  importance.  East  of 
the  Yenisei  are  the  Pitski  Range  and  the  Tunguska  Mountains 
on  the  borders  of  the  high  plains,  the  Syeverma  Mountains 
(3,000  ft.)  north  of  the  Lower  Tunguska,  the  Birranga  Moun- 
tains in  the  Taimir  Peninsula,  the  Vilyuisk  Mountains  west  of 
the  Lena,  and  the  Verkhoyansk  and  Orulgan  Mountains 
(4,000  ft.)  east  of  the  Lena.  The  highest  peak  in  the  Verk- 
hoyansk Mountains  is  said  to  be  7,900  ft.     Farther  to  the 


east  the  plains  arc  more  diversified  and  much  narrower.  They 
scarcely  merit  the  name  of  plains  as  they  merge  into  the 
plateau  region  of  the  north-east. 

The  low  plains  of  Siberia  are  of  Palaeozoic  rocks  deeply 
overlaid  with  post-glacial  deposits  showing  that  their  emer- 
gence from  the  waters  of  the  Arctic  Ocean  is  recent  from 
a  geological  standpoint.     Many  gigantic  boulders  scattered 

I  over  their  surface  were  no  doubt  dropped  from  floating  icebergs. 
The  south-western  part  of  the  plains  is  semi-barren  steppe- 
land  beyond  the  confines  of  Siberia,  but  farther  north  these 
give  place  to  rich  meadow  lands  where  the  rainfall  and  black 
earth  afford  the  best  possible  conditions  for  corn-growing  and 
cattle-raising.  Farther  north  the  grass  lands  give  way  to 
forests,  which  in  their  turn  thin  out  and  disappear  in  the 
treeless  swampy  tundra  which  fringes  the  Arctic  Ocean  from 
Scandinavia  to  the  Bering  Strait.  The  tundra  is  useless  for 
cultivation  and  settlement. 

Across  the  western  plains  there  are  no  obstacles  to  communi- 
cation in  any  direction  except  the  swamps  of  the  tundra, 
which  are  impassable  in  summer,  and  the  dense  forests. 

The  Plains  of  Arctic  Russia 

The  characteristic  features  of  the  low  plains  of  Siberia 
occur  farther  west  in  Arctic  Russia,  but  their  continuity  is 
interrupted  by  the  low  folds  of  the  Ural  Mountains  which 
extend  from  about  lat.  50°  N  to  the  Arctic  Ocean.  Their 
summits  vary  from  2,600  to  5,000  ft.,  and  the  greatest  height 
is  Telposiz  (5,530  ft.)  in  about  lat.  64°  N.  The  Urals  are  low 
and  wide,  and  consist  of  three  discontinuous  ranges  in  the 
south,  between  which  there  are  many  routes.  North  of  lat.  60° 
N.  they  are  more  compact  and  continuous.  The  range  becomes 
lower  as  it  approaches  Baidaratskaya  Bay,  and  reappears 
in  the  low  hills  of  the  Yamal  Peninsula.  Two  branches  run 
from  the  Urals  towards  the  north:west.  The  first  is  the  Timan 
Range,  which  crosses  the  plains  from  about  lat.  60°  to  62°  N. 
to  the  Kanin  Peninsula.  Its  greatest  height  is  about  750  ft., 
and  its  average  height  considerably  less.     The  second  range  is 


the  Pai-Khoi,  which  runs  from  about  lat.  67°  to  68°  N.  to 
Yaigach  and  Novaya  Zemlya. 

For  the  rest  Arctic  Russia  east  of  the  White  Sea  is  low  and 
swampy  like  north-western  Siberia,  and  covered  with  forest 
and  tundra. 

The  Kola  Peninsula 

West  of  the  White  Sea  the  country  differs.  The  Kola 
Peninsula  is  geographically  an  extension  of  the  mountainous 
region  of  Scandinavia.  The  interior  is  elevated  and  the  north 
coast  high  and  steep.  Tundra  in  the  north  and  meagre 
orests  in  the  south  cover  the  peninsula.  South  of  the  Kola 
Peninsula  is  the  low-lying  lake-studded  region  on  the  west  of 
the  White  Sea,  in  reality  an  eastern  extension  of  the  Finnish 
lake  plateau. 


Across  the  plains  of  Arctic  Russia  and  Siberia  many  great 
rivers  drain  from  the  highland  regions  in  the  south  to  the 
Arctic  Ocean.  The  uniformity  in  the  direction  of  flow  and 
the  other  characteristics  of  these  rivers  find  their  explanation 
in  the  relief  of  the  land.  The  largest  rivers  are  the  Ob, 
Yenisei,  and  Lena  with  their  many  tributaries.  They  all  rise 
in  the  central  high  plateau  and  drain  through  the  alpine  fore- 
land to  the  plains  across  which  they  flow  with  sluggish,  winding 
courses  whose  length  is  dependent  on  the  breadth  of  the  plains. 
Further  east,  where  the  highland  region  trends  northward 
towards  the  coast,  the  rivers  are  necessarily  shorter,  swifter, 
and  more  direct  ;  but  the  Yana,  Indigirka,  Kolima,  and 
Omolon  show  on  a  smaller  scale  most  of  the  characteristics 
of  the  livers  of  the  west.  The  narrowness  of  north-eastern 
Siberia  and  the  proximity  of  the  highlands  to  the  sea  cause 
the  eastward  drainage  to  flow  in  short  rapid  streams.  The 
only  exception  is  the  Amur,  which  is  comparable  to  the 
northern  rivers.  Like  them  it  drains  from  the  high  plateau, 
across  the  alpine  foreland  and  the  plains.  The  chief  respect 
in  which  it  differs  from  the  other  great  Siberian  rivers,  in 
addition  to  its  Pacific  outlet,  is  that  a  great  part  of  the  courses 


of  the  main  river  and  the  tributaries  are  on  the  high  plains  and 
the  plateau. 

The  rivers  of  Arctic  Russia,  rising  in  the  Urals,  are  neces- 
sarily shorter  than  those  of  western  Siberia,  but  in  other 
respects  the  Northern  Dvina  and  the  Pechora  are  similar  to 

»the  Ob. 
Importance  of  the  Rivers 
Their  long  courses  over  gently  sloping  plains  give  the 
Siberian  rivers  certain  characteristics  which  have  had  a  great 
influence  on  the  history  and  development  of  Siberia.  In  the 
first  place,  the  absence  of  a  very  decided  slope  means  that  the 
rivers  wind  a  great  deal,  and  have  ill-defined  watersheds 
which  are  easily  crossed.  In  the  second  place,  the  gentle 
gradient  of  the  plains  makes  the  rivers  slow  and  navigable 
almost  to  their  sources.  Lastly,  the  northward  course  of 
most  of  the  rivers  results  in  their  waters  swinging  to  the 
east,  owing  to  the  rotation  of  the  earth,  and  as  the  rivers 
erode  easily  in  the  soft  plain,  their  right  or  eastern  banks  are 
generally  high  and  suitable  for  settlements,  while  their  left 
or  western  banks  are  low,  ill-defined,  and  liable  to  inundation. 
In  their  plain  courses  the  rivers  are  sometimes  several  miles 
wide,  shallow,  and  studded  with  sandbanks  and  islands, 
which  are  often  completely  inundated  in  times  of  flood. 
Their  channels  change  from  year  to  year,  and  their  depth 
varies  with  the  season.  Yet  despite  all  drawbacks  the  rivers 
form  the  chief  highways  of  Siberia,  and  their  value  is  enhanced 
by  the  vastness  of  the  plains,  the  dense  forests,  and  the 
swampy  tundra,  all  of  Avhich  make  land  travelling  difficult 
if  not  impossible.  There  are  no  towns  of  any  importance  in 
Arctic  Russia  and  Siberia  which  are  not  on  navigable  water- 
ways. Of  all  the  physical  features  of  Siberia,  it  is  the 
rivers  that  have  had  the  most  progressive  influence  on  the 
country,  the  Ob,  the  Irtish,  and  the  Yenisei  most,  and  the 
Lena  least  of  all  the  great  rivers ;  but  as  population  spreads 
eastward  even  the  Lena  will  take  its  share.  Railways  will 
never  replace  waterways  :    they  will  make  east  and  west 


routes,  but  will  feed  and  be  fed  by  the  waterways.  Railways 
link  Siberia  to  the  outer  world,  and  in  a  measure  advertise,  it, 
but  the  rivers  do  the  work  of  real  progress  and  settlement. 

The  chief  disadvantage  of  the  Siberian  rivers  is  that  most  of 
them  flow  north,  and  so  give  access  only  to  the  Arctic  Ocean, 
and  all  of  them  are  closed  to  navigation  by  ice  for  more  than 
half  the  year.  The  northern  exits  of  the  Ob,  Yenisei,  and 
other  rivers  have  so  far  made  them  of  use  principally  for 
internal  commerce,  and  militated  against  their  value  as  gate- 
ways of  external  trade.  But  there  are  signs  that  this  will  not 
always  remain  the  case  to  the  same  extent  (see  Vol.  II, 
Chapter  IV). 

In  the  southern  part  of  the  plains,  the  region  of  most  value 
for  human  settlement,  the  tributaries  of  the  different  systems 
closely  approach  one  another,  and  the  basins  are  so  dove- 
tailed that  by  short  and  easy  portages  there  is  water  com- 
munication from  one  end  of  Siberia  to  the  other.  This  facili- 
tated the  penetration  of  Siberia  by  the  Cossacks.  Passing 
from  the  Ob  to  the  Yenisei  and  Lena  they  reached  the  Sea  of 
Okhotsk.  And  it  was  probably  due  to  their  missing  the  Amur 
and  being  led  further  north  by  the  waterways  to  uninviting 
shores  that  Russia's  entry  into  the  Amur  basin  was  so  long 
delayed.  Her  claims  on  the  Ussuri  and  the  Yellow7  Sea  coast 
came  too  late  to  be  firmly  established  before  Japan  had  begun 
to  look  westward. 

The  extent  of  the  Siberian  plains  is  so  vast  that  many  parts 
are  at  a  considerable  distance  from  a  navigable  waterway. 
In  the  north,  where  the  rivers  are  fewer,  and  many  run  direct 
to  the  sea,  this  isolation  of  certain  areas  is  most  marked. 
Some  of  the  northern  regions  away  from  rivers  or  drained 
by  small  independent  streams  are  almost  unknown  except  to 
wandering  tribes. 

Siberia  has  many  lakes,   particularly  in  the  west.     The 
largest  lie  in  the  alpine  foreland  in  the  south.     Lake  Baikal 
rovers  an  area  of  nearly  13,200  square  miles,  and  is  400  miles 


LAKES  27 

long  and  18  to  66  miles  broad.  Lake  Zaisan,  which  lies  outside 
Siberia  proper,  on  the  course  of  the  Irtish,  is  707  square  miles 
in  area.  The  Kirghiz  and  Baraba  steppes  are  dotted  with 
small  lakes,  many  with  ill-defined  margins.  On  the  Selenga 
and  Vitim  plateaux  there  are  also  many  small  lakes.  In  the 
ower  part  of  the  Amur  basin  are  several  larger  lakes,  including 
Lake  Kada  and  Kizi  near  the  mouth  of  the  Amur,  Lake 
Odzhal  further  up,  and  Lake  Khanka  (1,700  square  miles)  in 
the  Ussuri  valley,  partly  within  Chinese  Manchuria. 


The  coast-line  of  Siberia  has  a  great  length,  but  little  of  it 
is  important,  as  traffic  to  and  from  Siberia  is  principally 
overland  via  European  Russia.  The  northern  coast-line  is 
still  imperfectly  charted  except  in  the  extreme  west.  It  is 
blocked  with  ice  for  the  greater  part  of  the  year,  and  in  no 
month  is  navigation  free  from  difficulties  on  account  of  ice. 
The  coast  of  Russia  west  of  the  White  Sea  is  the  only  part  of 
the  Russian  Arctic  coast  which  is  approachable  all  the  year 

The  Pacific  coast  of  Siberia  is  less  inhospitable,  is  faced 
with  deeper  water,  and  has  several  good  harbours,  but  it 
opens  to  an  unproductive  hinterland,  and  is  blocked  with  ice 
for  much  of  the  year.  These  drawbacks  decrease  progressively 
towards  the  south.  Consequently  the  most  important  seaport, 
Vladivostok,  lies  at  the  extreme .  south  of  Russian  Pacific 

The  coasts  of  Siberia  and  the  off -lying  islands  are  described 
in  detail  in  subsequent  chapters  in  Volumes  II  and  III. 



General  characteristics — Temperature — Pressure  and  winds — Precipita- 
tion— Climate  and  Agriculture— Climatic  Regions — Freezing  and  thawing 
of  rivers  of  Siberia. 

General  Characteristics 

The  climate  of  Siberia  is  typically  continental,  and  is 
characterized  by  a  great  range  of  temperature  between  winter 
and  summer  ;  a  reversal  of  pressure  conditions,  and  conse- 
quently of  winds,  between  winter  and  summer  ;  and  a  small 
amount  of  annual  precipitation.  In  a  general  way  it  is  com- 
parable with  the  climate  of  European  Russia,  but  is  more 
extreme  in  all  respects.  The  winter  is  long  and  very  cold, 
but  generally  calm  and  dry  with  little  cloud  to  interfere  with 
the  bright  sunshine.  The  chief  populated  parts  of  Siberia  lie 
between  lat.  50°  N.  and  lat.  60°  N.,  and  so  receive,  roughly 
speaking,  as  much  insolation  as  the  British  Isles,  but  the  ex- 
treme north  has  a  certain  period  of  darkness  in  midwinter. 
January  is  the  coldest  month.    Snowfall  is  seldom  deep. 

The  months  of  vegetative  growth  are  May  to  October,  with 
a  mean  temperature  of  about  56°  F.  in  western  Siberia,  and 
about  53°  to  60°  F.  in  eastern  Siberia,  but  only  the  three 
months  of  June,  July,  and  August  can  really  be  regarded  as 
summer.  Most  of  the  precipitation  occurs  in  that  period. 
In  September  the  temperatures  begin  to  fall  rapidly.  Spring 
and  autumn  are  short  seasons  and  are  scarcely  noticeable 
except  in  the  south. 

The  causes  of  these  characteristics  are  to  be  found  in  the 
physical  circumstances  of  the  country.  It  is  a  compact  land 
mass  open  to  the  north  by  gently  sloping  plains,  but  closed 
to  the  south  by  mountains  which  serve  to  a  great  degree  as 


climatic  barriers.  The  moderating  influence  of  the  ocean  can 
be  felt  only  in  the  extreme  east,  where  the  Dzhugdzhur  and 
Stanovoi  Mountains  lie  near  the  coast,  and  prevent  the  oceanic 
influences  penetrating  far  inland.  The  only  ocean  to  which 
the  plains  of  Siberia  lie  open  is  the  cold  Arctic  Ocean,  which 
is  so  encumbered  by  ice  for  a  great  part  of  the  year,  that  it 
has  little  beneficial  influence  on  the  climate.  Lastly,  the 
I  country  rises  towards  the  south,  except  in  the  extreme  west, 
and  so  the  temperatures  are  lower  than  they  would  otherwise 
be,  despite  the  comparatively  low  latitudes  of  that  part  of 


The  mean  annual  temperature  of  practically  the  whole  of 
Siberia  is  below  36°  F.,  and  of  all,  except  the  extreme  south, 
below  32°  F.,  but  these  figures  convey  little  because  of  the 
great  seasonal  range  of  temperature.  The  winter  temperatures 
are  much  lower,  an4  the  summer  temperatures  slightly  higher 
than  the  latitudes  suggest.  The  greatest  extremes  occur 
in  the  north-east  between  the  Aldan  and  the  Arctic  Ocean, 
where  Verkhoyansk,  in  lat.  67°  N.,  has  a  January  mean  of 

—  60-7°  F.  and  a  July  mean  of  59-7°  F.,  or  a  range  of  over 
120°  F.,  probably  greater  than  occurs  elsewhere  on  the  face 
of  the  globe.  Other  places  in  eastern  Siberia  much  farther 
south  experience  very  low  winter  temperatures,  such  as 
Yakutsk  in  lat.   62°   l'N.,  which  has  a  January  mean  of 

—  46-0°  F.  From  this  pole  of  cold  in  the  Yana  and  Lena 
region  winter  temperatures  increase  in  all  directions.  Even 
to  the  north  along  the  shores  of  the  Arctic  Ocean  the  mid- 
winter temperatures  are  not  so  low  as  at  Verkhoyansk.  At 
Sagastir  in  the  Lena  delta,  in  lat.  73°  23'  N.,  the  mean  of 
February,  the  coldest  month,  in  two  years'  observations,  was 

—  364°  F.,  and  the  Fram,  in  her  drift  across  the  Arctic  Ocean, 
had  a  January  mean  no  lower  than  —31-9°  F.  In  the  east 
the  waters  of  the  Pacific  in  winter  carry  comparatively  high 
coastal  temperatures  north  as  far  as  the  Chukchee  Peninsula, 
but  the  fall  westward  to  the  low  temperatures  of  the  interior 


is  rapid.  Thus  the  January  mean  of  Vladivostok  is  4-8°  F., 
of  Petropavlovsk  in  Kamchatka  13-8°  F.,  but  of  Nikolaevsk 
— 10-1°  F.  To  the  west  and  particularly  the  south-west  of  the 
pole  of  cold  the  increase  in  winter  temperatures  is  more 
gradual.  Yeniseisk  has  a  January  mean  of  — 10-1°  F.,  Tomsk 
of  3-3°  F.,  and  Tobolsk  of  -2-2°  F.  Even  in  the  Steppe 
provinces  the  January  mean  ranges  from  —4°  P.  in  the  north 
to  17-5°  F.  at  Lake  Balkhash  in  about  lat.  45°  N.  A  January 
mean  above  freezing  point  does  not  occur  north  of  Tashkent 
and  Bokhara  near  the  southern  frontier  of  Asiatic  Russia. 
In  north-west  Siberia  the  Atlantic  influences  make  themselves 
felt  to  a  small  extent ;  thus  Berezov  on  the  Ob  in  about  lat. 
63°  40'  N.  has  a  January  mean  of  —10-6°  F.,  and  Arkhangel 
in  64°  32'  N.  has  a  January  mean  of  7-5°  F.  This  influence 
is  considered  further  on  p.  34.  The  freezing  of  Siberian 
rivers  is  considered  at  the  end  of  this  chapter,  and  ice  in  the 
polar  seas  in  Vol.  II,  Chapters  I  and  IV,  and  Vol.  Ill, 
Chapter  II. 

In  summer  the  highest  temperatures  occur  in  the  south  and 
south-west,  and  there  is  a  decrease  towards  the  north  and 
east  coasts,  but  the  distribution  of  temperature  conforms  to 
latitude  much  more  than  in  winter.  The  shores  of  the  Arctic 
Ocean  have  a  July  and  August  mean  generally  well  above 
freezing  point,  thus  Sagastir  in  the  Lena  delta  has  a  July 
mean  of  40-3°  F.,  and  the  Frarn,  in  the  Arctic  Ocean,  had 
a  July  mean  no  lower  than  32°  F.  As  far  south  as  the  Arctic 
Circle  the  increase  of  temperature  is  comparatively  rapid,  but 
south  of  the  Arctic  Circle  it  becomes  more  gradual.  In  the 
east  temperatures  as  a  rule  are  slightly  higher  than  in  cor- 
responding latitudes  in  the  west,  but  this  small  difference 
disappears  in  the  south.  The  extreme  south  of  Siberia  has 
a  July  mean  of  over  71°  F.,  and  in  the  Steppe  provinces  the 
July  mean  goes  as  high  as  80°  F.  On  the  east  coasts  the  Pacific 
makes  itself  felt  as  a  cooling  influence,  and  the  July  isotherms, 
like  the  January  ones,  run  roughly  parallel  with  the  coast  from 
Sakhalin  to  the  mouth  of  the  Anadir.  Thus  Okhotsk  in  lat. 
59°  21'  N.  has  a  July  mean  of  only  55-2°  F.,  or  about  11°  F 


lower  than  Olekminsk,  in  the  interior  in  much  the  same  lati- 
tude, and  Petropavlovsk  in  lat.  52°  53'  N.  has  an  August  mean 
of  58*3°  compared  with  66*9°  F.  at  Yeniseisk  on  about  the  same 
parallel.  Despite  the  low  summer  pressure  over  Siberia  these 
maritime  influences  do  not  penetrate  far  inland.  Lake  Baikal 
exercises  locally  the  functions  of  a  sea  in  reducing  summer 
temperatures  in  its  vicinity. 

Pressure  and  Winds 

The  low  winter  temperatures  of  Siberia  result  in  an  ex- 
tensive high-pressure  system  developing  over  the  country  at 
that  season.  The  frozen  ocean  to  the  north  aids  in  its  de- 
velopment. In  January  the  highest  pressure  lies  SW.  of  Lake 
Baikal,  and  extends  thence  to  the  NE.  and  SW.  The  pressure 
decreases  towards  the  NW.  of  European  Russia,  where  a 
comparatively  low  pressure  area  extends  from  the  Atlantic 
over  the  Barents  Sea,  and  towards  the  east,  where  a  wide  low 
pressure  system  lies  over  the  North  Pacific.  Lake  Baikal 
causes  a  local  weakening  of  pressure  in  the  heart  of  Siberia. 
As  a  result  of  these  pressure  conditions  over  Siberia  the  winter 
winds  as  a  rule  are  light,  generally  from  the  SW.  in  the  north, 
and  from  the  E.  and  SE.  in  the  south.  But  calms  are  charac- 
teristic of  a  Siberian  winter,  and  consequently  the  intense  cold 
is  tolerable,  and  has  comparatively  little  ill  effect  on  vegeta- 
tion and  human  activities.  In  March  the  centre  of  high  pres- 
sure moves  northwards  to  the  Arctic  Ocean,  and  by  April  the 
pressure  over  Siberia  and  the  Pacific  is  almost  equalized,  while 
in  May  the  rapidly  rising  temperature  results  in  the  formation 
of  an  extensive  low  pressure  sj^stem  over  the  country,  which 
reaches  its  greatest  development  in  July.  The  reversal  in 
pressure  conditions  results  in  inflowing  currents  of  air  through- 
out Siberia.  In  western  Siberia  westerly  and  northerly  winds 
prevail,  in  the  Taimir  region  cool  northerly  winds,  and  in  the 
north-east  easterly  winds.  On  the  Ussuri  and  Maritime 
regions  there  is  a  more  marked  monsoon  effect  owing  to  the 
elose  proximity  of  the  cool  ocean  to  the  comparatively  warm 


land.     Vladivostok  has  a  prevalence  of  warm  south-easterly 
winds  during  summer. 

As  a  result  of  the  low  pressure  the  summer  winds  of  Siberia 
are  often  strong,  and  gales  occur  at  that  season.  The  moun- 
tains of  the  south  form  a  fairly  effective  barrier  against 
southerly  air  currents,  but  fohn  winds,  warmed  by  their 
descent  from  high  altitudes,  not  infrequently  blow  in  the 
northern  valleys  of  the  Altai  and  Sayansk  Mountains. 


Precipitation  throughout  the  whole  of  Siberia  is  slight  and 
occurs  chiefly  in  summer.  It  is  least  in  the  far  north,  where 
it  is  less  than  8  ins.  in  the  year,  and  it  increases  towards  the 
south,  reaching  its  maxima  of  18  ins.  or  over  in  the  south-west 
and  the  Altai  region,  and  20  ins.  or  more  in  the  Amur  region. 
In  Kamchatka,  where  the  monsoon  is  well  marked,  the  total 
annual  fall  is  40  ins.  or  more.  In  the  Steppe  provinces  in  the 
far  south-west  the  annual  precipitation  again  decreases  towards 
the  Sea  of  Aral,  where  it  is  under  4  ins.  In  the  Tienshan 
Mountains,  however,  between  the  steppes  and  Chinese  territory, 
the  annual  amount  rises  to  three  or  four  times  that  figure. 

As  regards  seasonal  distribution,  summer,  as  already  stated, 
is  the  time  of  most  precipitation.  On  an  average  50-55  per 
cent,  of  the  annual  amount  falls  during  June,  July,  and  August. 
The  daily  fall  is  generally  slight.  The  southern  part  of  the 
Steppe  provinces  are  again  an  exception,  for  they  receive  most 
of  their  scanty  rainfall  in  winter.  The  only  parts  of  Siberia 
proper  that  receive  an  appreciable  amount  of  winter  precipi- 
tation are  the  Vasuigan  swamps  and  the  Ishim  steppes  in  the 
west,  and  Sakhalin  and  Kamchatka  in  the  east.  The  Arctic 
coast,  the  Transbaikal,  and  the  upper  Amur  regions  are  par- 
ticularly dry  in  winter. 

Cloudiness  is  a  general  accompaniment  of  the  rainy  season. 

Drought  is  characteristic  of  many  parts  of  Siberia,  although 
the  country  is  well  supplied  with  great  rivers.  It  must  be 
remembered,  however,  that  these  rivers  have  their  sources  in 


the  mountains  of  the  southern  frontier  lands,  where  rainfall  is 
more  abundant  than  on  the  plains ;  and  furthermore,  that 
their  stoppage  by  frost  for  more  than  half  the  year,  and  the 
slight  loss  they  suffer  from  evaporation,  except  for  a  few  weeks, 
are  factors  which  combine  to  conserve  their  water-supply. 
Lastly,  the  frozen  subsoil  of  the  greater  part  of  Siberia  and  the 
gentle  gradients  of  the  plains,  especially  in  the  west,  make 
drainage  slow,  and  give  the  country  a  wet  appearance  despite 
the  small  amount  of  precipitation  that  falls. 

Climate  and  Agriculture 

The  influence  exercised  by  the  climate  on  most  aspects  of 
human  activity  in  Siberia  is  noticed  more  particularly  in 
the  chapters  on  agriculture  and  communications,  but  attention 
may  be  drawn  here  to  a  few  more  general  relations  between 
climate  and  agriculture. 

The  high  summer  temperatures,  if  they  were  unaccompanied 
by  cloudiness  and  rainfall,  would  be  disastrous  to  agriculture. 
As  it  is  the  clouds  temper  the  heat,  and  the  rainfall  is  so  evenly 
distributed  throughout  the  summer  months  that  agriculture 
receives  the  maximum  benefit  from  it.  However,  a  small 
diminution  in  the  annual  rainfall  is  most  serious,  as  there  is 
no  margin  to  spare.  In  the  Steppe  provinces,  where  the  summer 
rainfall  is  slight,  and  the  summer  temperatures  very  high, 
agriculture  can  be  practised  only  along  the  rivers  of  the  far 
south  where  irrigation  is  possible.  In  the  Amur  region  the 
abundant  summer  rains  favour  agriculture  while  the  monsoon 
region,  including  Kamchatka,  has  too  much  rain,  in  relation 
to  its  low  summer  temperatures,  for  agriculture  to  flourish. 

The  scarcity  of  snow  in  winter,  throughout  most  parts  of 
Siberia,  allows  the  ground  to  freeze  to  great  depths  even  in 
the  south  of  the  country.  A  permanently  frozen  subsoil 
extends  north  and  east  of  a  line  drawn  from  the  Kanin  Penin- 
sula, on  the  White  Sea,  east  by  Be.rezov  on  the  Ob  to  Turuk- 
hansk  on  the  Yenisei,  thence  south-east  to  Ilimsk  and  round 
the  north  and  east  of  Lake  Baikal,  and  west  to  the  Uryankhai 
region  :    the  lower  Amur,  Ussuri,  and  Maritime  regions  are 



excluded  from  this  area.  In  summer  the  surface  soil,  in  the 
area  so  denned,  thaws  to  certain  depths.  Tree  growth  is  not 
prevented,  as  the  roots  spread  out  laterally  when  they  reach 
the  frozen  soil.  In  fact,  some  of  the  finest  forests  of  Siberia 
are  in  this  region.  Provided  a  district  has  a  sufficiently  long 
and  warm  summer,  the  frozen  soil  actually  assists  cereal 
cultivation.  The  short  roots  of  cereals  do  not  reach  the  frozen 
subsoil,  which  on  the  other  hand  ensures  a  supply  of  water  in 
the  upper  layers,  and  so  saves  the  crops  from  disaster  in  case 
of  drought.  Of  course,  over  the  greater  part  of  northern 
Siberia  cereal  cultivation  is  impracticable  on  account  of  the 
shortness  of  the  summer  and  the  waterlogged  soil. 

In  western  Siberia,  with  its  greater  winter  snowfall  and  its 
higher  winter  temperatures,  the  soil  does  not  remain  per- 
manently frozen.  In  other  respects,  however,  the  lower  winter 
temperatures  of  eastern  Siberia  are  not  more  unfavourable  to 
agriculture  than  the  higher  temperatures  of  western  Siberia, 
for  both  are  too  low  to  allow  work  on  the  land  in  winter. 
Frosts  which  occur  as  late  as  early  summer  and  as  early  as 
August  or  September  are  most  injurious  to  agriculture.  In 
some  agricultural  regions  July  is  the  only  month  in  which 
frost  never  occurs. 

Climatic  Regions 

While  practically  the  whole  of  Siberia  experiences  the 
same  type  of  climate,  the  country  can  be  divided  into  certain 
climatic  regions.  These  regions  have  no  clearly  denned 
boundaries,  and  they  merge  imperceptibly  into  one  another. 
The  differences  between  their  climates  is  in  degree  rather 
than  in  kind.     The  regions  are  as  follows  : 

1.  The  Arctic  region  stretching  from  Lapland  through 
Arctic  Russia  and  Siberia  to  Bering  Strait  and  extending 
southward  to  about  lat.  64°  N.  in  the  west,  and  about  lat. 
67°  N.  in  the  east.  Summer  is  very  short  and  the  temperature 
does  not  rise  above  60°  F.  Winter  is  long  and  cold  with 
a  January  mean  of  — 10°  F.  to  —  40°  F.  except  in  the  west. 
Spring  and  autumn  scarcely  occur.     Rainfall  in  summer  and 


snowfall  in  winter  are  both  slight.     This  region  has  neither 

I)  severe  a  winter  climate,  nor  so  warm  a  summer  climate  as 
ist-central  Siberia  (Region  3). 
The  climate  of  the  Kola  Peninsula  and  the  White  Sea 
strict  forms  a  sub-region  characterized  chiefly  by  a  milder 
inter  than  the  rest  of  the  region.  This  is  due  to  the  warm 
Atlantic  drift,  the  influence  of  which  is  felt  chiefly  on  the 
Murman  coast  but  to  a  lesser  extent  in  the  White  Sea  and 
Kanin  region,  and  rapidly  disappears  on  the  mainland  farther 
east.  The  winter  climate  of  Novaya  Zemlya,  particularly  on 
the  west  side,  feels  its  influence  in  comparatively  high  tempera- 
tures and  in  amount  of  precipitation,  and  Franz  Josef  Land 
may  do  so  in  exceptional  years.  The  summer  climate  of  this 
sub-region  differs  little  from  that  of  Arctic  Siberia. 

Temperature  and 

Precipitation  in 

Arctic  Siberia 


ion  (inches) 

Jan.  mean 

July  mean     Range  June- Aug. 

Annual  total 


°F.              °  F. 

Franz  Josef  Land      —11-5 

36-1             47-6 



Obdorsk                      —16-4 

56-5             72-9 



Tolsti  Nos                  -28-8 

51-8              80-6 



Turukhansk               — 18-7 

59-5             78-2 



Sagastir :  Lena  delta  -36-4  (Feb.)  40-3             76-7 



Fram1                        -31-9 

32-0             63-9 



Temperature  and 

Precipitation  in  Arctic  Russia 

Precipitation  (inches) 

Jan.  mean 

July  mean     Range  June- Aug. 

Annual  total 


°  F.              °  F. 

Kola                               11-8 

54-8              43-0 



Arkhangel                        7-5 

60-4  (Aug.)  52-9 



Kem                                12-4 

58-3              45-9 



Troitsko  -Pechorskoe    —  1  •  1 

60-2             61-3 



Karmakul:  Novaya       2-3  (Feb.)  43-2             40-9 




2.  West-central  Siberia  is  the  chief  populated  region  of 
Siberia  and  includes  the  south  part  of  the  Tobolsk  Province, 

1  The  mean  of  the  temperatures  taken  in  the  Fram  from  October  1893  to 
July  1896  during  her  drift  in  the  ice  from  between  lat.  77°  30'  N.  and 
lat.  85°  55'  N. 

C  2 


most  of  the  Tomsk  Province,  the  south  of  the  Yeniseisk  and 
Irkutsk  Provinces,  and  the  northern  parts  of  the  Steppe 
provinces.  Both  winter  and  summer  are  warmer  than  in  the 
Arctic  region.  The  January  temperature  varies  from  0°  P. 
to  -10°  F.,  and  the  July  temperature  from  64°  F.  to  70°  F. 
Early  morning  frosts  may  occur  as  late  as  June  or  as  early  as 
September.  The  mean  annual  rainfall  is  about  16  to  20  ins., 
of  which  more  than  half  falls  in  the  three  summer  months. 
On  account  of  the  high  temperatures  summer,  like  winter, 
is  a  period  of  clear  weather  despite  the  rainfall. 

Temperature  and  Precipitation  in  West-Central  Siberia 

Precipitation  {inches) 

Jan.  mean 

July  mean 


June- Aug.  Annual  total 


o  p 



—  2-2 




















,    74-8 







































3.  East-central  Siberia  is  the  largest  region  and  includes  most 
of  the  Yakutsk  Province  except  the  extreme  north,  the  north 
of  the  Irkutsk  Province,  and  the  Transbaikal  Province.  The 
climate  is  the  most  extreme  in  the  whole  of  Siberia,  and  is 
characterized  by  the  great  severity  of  the  winter  rather  than 
by  exceptional  warmth  in  summer.  In  January  the  mean 
temperature  ranges  from  —60°  F.  in  the  north  to  —4°  F.  in 
the  south,  but  some  parts  of  the  south  on  account  of  their 
considerable  elevations  have  a  Januarj^  mean  much  lower 
than  —4°  F.  The  absolute  minimum  recorded  is  —90°  F.  at 
Verkhoyansk.  Several  months  may  occur  during  which  the 
temperature  remains  below  —  20°  F.,  but  on  the  other  hand 
great  ranges  may  occur  in  any  month  except  July.  July 
has  a   mean  temperature  ranging    from   60°  F.    to  ^70°  F 


Precipitation  varies  from  an  annual  total  of  5  or  6  ins.  to 
17  or  18  ins.  Snowfall  is  nowhere  heavy  and  the  Transbaikal 
Province  is  almost  snowless. 

Temperature  and  Precipitation  in  East-Central  Siberia 

Precipitation  {inches 

Jan.  mean 

July  mean 


June- Aug.  Annualtotal 








































4.  Amur  and  South-east  region. — This  has  a  somewhat 
anomalous  climate,  for  not  only  is  much  of  the  region  farther 
south  than  any  other  part  of  Siberia  proper,  but  it  is  the  only 
region  that  is  influenced  hj  the  ocean  to  any  great  extent. 
The  Amur  valley  shows  climatic  features  intermediate  between 
those  of  the  Transbaikal  and  the  south-east  coast  region,  which 
has  January  means  above  zero  and  in  which  thaws  may  occur 
in  any  month.  A  few  miles  inland  the  continental  low 
temperatures  occur.  Strong  winds  on  the  coast  may  make 
the  winter,  despite  its  higher  temperatures,  much  more 
unpleasant  than  in  the  colder  but  calmer  interior.  Winter 
minima  as  low  as  —27°  F.  have  been  recorded  at  Vladivostok. 
July  means  are  about  65°  F.  to  70°  F.,  decreasing  towards 
the  north,  but  summer  may  be  chilly  on  account  of  strong 
wet  winds.  Monsoon  influences  cause  heavy  summer  rainfall, 
decreasing  from  the  coast  inland.  As  a  rule  more  than  half 
the  total  annual  precipitation  falls  in  summer.  Dense  fogs 
are  common  on  the  coast  in  summer. 

Sakhalin  and  Kamchatka  are  extreme  examples  of  this 
type  of  climate,  but  their  sea-girt  position  redeems  them  frorc 
the  severity  of  the  continental  winter  and  mitigates  the 
summer  heat.  Rainfall  is  heavy  all  the  year  round.  Ayan, 
on  the  west  coast  of  the  Sea  of  Okhotsk,  with  a  total  annual 
fall  of  44  J  ins.  gets  the  same  heavy  rainfall,  but  the  northern 
coasts  of  the  Sea  of  Okhotsk  get  comparatively  little. 


Temperature  and  Precipitation  in  the  Amur  Region  and  on 
South-east  Coast 

Precipitation  {inches) 

Jan.  mean 

July  mean 


June- Aug. 

Annual  total 


o  ji 






































Olgi  Bay 








-  Of) 

62-0  (Aug.)  62 -6 





55-2  (Aug.)  71-1 





13-8  (Feb.)  58-3  (Au< 

I.)  72-1 



5.  The  Steppe  region  of  the  south-west  has  extreme  con- 
tinental conditions  of  climate  but  with  great  summer  heat 
more  marked  than  severe  winter  cold.  The  January  means 
range  from  about  zero  to  10°  F.  and  the  July  means  from 
70°  F.  to  80°  F.  Rainfall  is  slight  at  all  seasons  and  much 
of  the  region  is  practically  a  desert.  However,  the  best  agri- 
cultural region  in  Siberia  lies  where  the  steppe  merges  into 
West-central  Siberia  (Region  2).  Strong  winds  sometimes 
occur  in  winter  with  drifting  snow  and  in  summer  with 
driven  sand.  Only  the  northern  part  of  the  Steppe  region 
is  considered  in  this  book. 

Temperature  and  Precipitation  in  the  Steppe  region 

Precipitation  {inches) 
Jan.  mean       July  mean     Range  June-Aug.  Annual  total 
°  F.  °  F.  °  F. 

Semipalatinsk  0-5  72-6  71-5  2-5  7-5 

Freezing  and  Thawing  of  the  Rivers  of  Siberia 

The  rivers  are  frozen  over  in  5-20  days  of  frost,  the  length 
of  time  varying  with  the  severity  of  the  frost.  It  is  noteworthy 
that  the  smaller  polar  rivers,  especially  those  lying  between 
the  Ob  and  the  Yenisei  and  the  Yenisei  and  the  Lena,  freeze 
far  more  rapidly  than  these  great  rivers  with  their  enormous 





basins  and  warmer  waters  coming  from  the  south.  Rivers 
like  the  Taz  or  the  Khatanga  are  unable  to  attain  a  high 
temperature  during  the  short  summer.  The  early  freezing 
of  the  rivers  between  Lake  Baikal  and  the  Pacific  is  probably 
the  result  of  the  mountainous  character  of  these  regions,  where 
cold  is  felt  earlier  than  in  the  neighbouring  districts.  Several 
mall  rivers  and  streams  flowing  into  the  Verkhne-Vitim  in  the 
marshy  Bargunsk  forest,  some  of  them  running  through  deep 
ravines,  remain  covered  with  ice  throughout  the  year. 

The  tables  here  given  for  the  opening  and  closing  of  the  rivers 
do  not  correspond  with  the  opening  and  closing  of  navigation. 
The  rivers  are  not  navigable  for  at  least  a  week  after  the 
breaking  up  of  the  ice,  and  often  for  a  fortnight  or  more  before 
the  river  is  actually  frozen  over. 

The  dates  given  are  the  average  for  a  varying  number  of 
years.  An  estimated  date  is  given  in  brackets  where  actual 
figures  were  unobtainable.  The  dates  according  to  the  Russian 
calendar  would  be  13  days  earlier  than  those  given  here. 

Western  Siberia 


Average  date 

date  of 

of  breaking 


River.                                            up  of  ice. 


Atbasar  at  Atbasar           ....             May     7 

Ayaguz  at  Sergiopol 

April  5 

Nov.  27 

Biya  at  Biisk  . 

May    5 

Oct.  23 

Charish  at  Byeloglazovo  . 

»       4 

„     21 

Chulim  at  Ust-Chulimskaya 

„       8 

„     23 

„        „  Nazarovskoe    . 

„     12 

„     18 

„        ,,  Bogotolskoe 

„      9 

.,     19 

„        „  Achinsk 

„       8 

„     23 

„       „  Tutalskoe 

,.     18 

„     14 

„        „  Ziryanovskoe  . 

„     12 

„     19 

Irbit  at  Irbit  . 

„       5 

N     11 

Irtish  at  Lake  Zaisan 

April  30 

»    21 

„       „  Krasnoyarsk 

„     25 

Dec.    6 

„      „  Ust-Kamenogorsk 

„     30 

H         2 

„       „  Semipalatinsk     . 

„     30 

Nov.  26 

„      ,,  Yamishevskaya  . 

May    2 

„     24 

„      „  Pavlodar   . 

„       6 

»     22 

„      „  Omsk 

„     14 

n      18 

„      „  Tara 

„     15 

„     18 

„      „  Tobolsk     . 

„     14 

„     20 

„      „  Samarovskoe 

»     28 

„     19 


Iset  at  Yekaterinburg 
Ishira  at  Akmolinsk 

„      „  Petropavlovsk 

„      „  l8him 
Kartisak  at  Kartisak 
Kiya  at  Mariinsk     . 
Ob  at  Barnaul 

„      KoHvan 

„      Kolpasbevo   . 

„      Narim  . 

„      Timskoe 

,,      Aleksandrovskoe 

„      Surgut . 

„      Pesk  fishing  station 

,,      Kondinskoe  . 

,,      Obdorsk 
Om  at  Kainsk 
„        Omsk 
Pishma  at  Tahtsa    . 
Polui  at  Obdorsk     . 
Pyazina  at  Vedenskoe 
„         „  Zaostrovskoe 
„         „  mouth    . 
Sosva  at  Berezov     . 
Tavda  at  Nikolsk  factory 
Tobol  at  Svyerinogolovskays 

,,       „  Kurgan 

,,      ,,  Yalutorovsk 

„      „  Blinnikova 

„      „  Tobolsk     . 
Tom  at  Kuznetsk    . 

,,      ,,  Polomoshnaya 

„      „  Tomsk 
Tura  at  Verkhoture 

,,      „  Turinsk 

,,      ,,  Tyumen 
Ui  at  Troitsk  . 
Uvelka  at  Troitsk    . 

Abakan  at  Ust-Abakanskoe 

Aldan  at  Ust-Maiskaya    . 

Amga  at  Sulgachinskskaya 
„       ,,  Amginskaya 

Amur  at  Pokrovskaya 
,,       „  Albazin 
„       .,  Chernyaeva 



Average  date 

date  of 

of  breaking 


up  of  ice. 


May  11 

Nov.  12 

„       5 

„     17 

»     11 

,     13 

„     13 

,     14 

„      3 

,       9 

„     12 

,     13 

M         8 

„     23 

.,     14 

„    21 

„     15 

(Nov.  21) 

„     22 

Nov.  18 

„     20 

(Nov.  18) 

„     26 

Nov.  10 

m     30 

.,     15 

„     24 

„     16 

„     28 

„     16 

.June  16 

.,      9 

May  17 

Nov.  14 

»,     14 

.,     13 

„       4 

„     17 

June  1 1 

Oct.  27 
Nov.    1 

July  9  (one  year) 

Oct.  14 

.     Aug.4  (one  year) 

„      7 

June  3 

Nov.  12 

May  15 

„     17 

June  10 

,       4 

May    6 

,    21 

„       8 

.     16 


,     20 


„     20 
„     10 
M        9 

„     13 
„     13 

H        7 

»       8 

April  27 

„     14 
,     17 
,     29 
,     25 
,     17 
,     11 
.,     17 
,     12 
,    20 

May    1 

,     17 


«■  Siberia 

April  30 

Nov.  30 

May  31 

Oct.   30 

June   2 

(Nov.  30) 

May  29 

Dec.    4 

„     13 

Nov.  19 

„     16 

„     18 

„     16 

,     26 





Average  date 

date  of 


of  breaking 


up  of  ice. 


Amur  at  Blagovyeshchensk 

May  12 

Nov.  25 

„       .,  Raddevka 

„     12 

(Nov.  25) 

„       „  Yekaterino-Nikolskaya 

»    io 

Nov.  28 

„       „  Mikhailo-Semenovskaya 

„       2 

(Dec.  2) 

„      ,,  Khabarovsk 

„       6 

Dec.    7 

„      „  Mariinsk    .... 

„     23 

Nov.  24 

„       „  Nikolaevsk 

June    1 

„     25 

Anadir  at  Markovo 

„    19 

Oct.  27 

Anabar  at  mouth  of  River  Krilya-Kan 


„    20 

Angara  (Upper  Tunguska). 

„        at  Irkutsk  .... 

April  22 
May  11 

Jan.  25 

,.         ,,  Usolskoe 

»       8 

„         „  Olonskoe 

„     11 

»      3 

„         „  Verkhne-Ostrovskaya 

„     10 

„      5 

„  Balagansk 

„     20 

Dec.  20 

„         .,  Malishevka 

»     19 

„    21 

„         ,,  Shiveri   .... 

.,     23 

,,     17 

.,         „  Ust-Udinskoc 

(May  24) 

.,     15 

„         ,,  Podvoloshnaya         - 

May  27 

„     13 

„         ,,  Bratski-Ostrog 

„     24 

M        7 

„         ,,  Pyani  Poroga 

(May  27) 

„       6 

,,         ,,  Padunskoe 

June   1 

„       8 

,,         .,  Shmanek 

May  26 

„       9 

„         ,,  Voroveva 

(May  26) 

„       5 

,,         ,,  Karapchanskoe 

May  26 

Nov.  29 

„         „  Kezhemskoe    . 

„     28 

.,     15 

.,         ,,  Boguchanskoe 

„     26 

„     18 

,,  Pinchuga 

„     26 

„     22 

„        .,  Ribinskoe 

„     29 

(Nov.  30) 

Argun  at  Olochinskoe 

April  26  (1875) 

Nov.  19 

.,       „  Argunskaya       . 

May  16 

„     21 

„       „  Urovskoe 

„     17 

„     20 

,,       „  Pokrovskaya 

„     17 

„     16 

Balei  at  Gorokovskoe       .          .          .          . 

April  29 

„     12 

Barguzin  at  Barguzin 

May  10 

„     12 

Biliktui  at  Biliktuiskoe  (mouth) 

„       9 

„     29 

Biryusa  at  Biryusa            . 

„      15 

„     21 

„       ,,  Kontorskoe     . 

„     13 

.,     27 

Byelaya  at  Maltinskoe      . 

„     11 

„     20 

Chikoi  at  Baikhor    .          .          .          .          . 

„     15 

,,     21 

„       „  Kudarinskaya   . 

„       8 

„     23 

Chima  at  Cheremkhovskoe 

„     16 

„     16 

Gizhiga  at  Gizhiga  .          . 

June  7 

„      2 

Ilga  at  Znamenskoe          . 


„     14 

Ilim  at  Nizhne-Ilimsk       . 

May  18 

»       9 

Indigirka  at  Russkoe  Usto 

June  29 

Oct.  16 

Ingoda  at  Titovo     . 

May  13 

Nov.  15 

„        „  Chita       . 

n      10 

„     17 

,,        ,,  Kaidalovo        . 

»     14 

(Nov.  19) 




Average  date 

date  of 

River.                                       of  breaking 


itp  of  ice. 


Ingoda  at  Knyaze-Beregovaya  .          .          .             May  16 

(Nov.  19) 

„        „  Raz-Makhnina 


Nov.  20 

Irkut  at  Shchinkovskoe    . 

,       2 

„     18 

„       „  Tunkinskoe 

,     11 

,     18 

„       „  Smolenskoe 

,     14 

,     19 

,,       „  Irkutsk 

,     14 

,       5 

Iya  at  Tulunovskoe 

,     15 

,     23 

Kan  at  Kansk 

,     11 


,     25 

„      ,,  Antsiferskoe 

,     12 

,     18 

Khara-Ulakh  at  mouth 

June  23  (one  year) 


Khatanga,  near  mouth 

June  28  (one  year) 

Oct.  12 

,,          at  Khatangskoe 

July    7 

„    19 

Khilok  at  Petrovski  Zavod 

May  23 

Nov.  17 


April  30 

Dec.  13 

Kirenga  at  Kirensk 

May  21 

Nov.  22 

Kolima  at  Urocheva 

June    6 

Oct.  25 

„        ,,  Sredne-Kolimsk 

„     11 

„     24 

„        „  Nizhne-Kolimsk 

„     18 

.,     17 

Kukhtui  at  Okhotsk 

„       2 

Nov.  29 

Kuta  at  Ust-Kutskoe 

May  20 


Lena  at  Kachugskoe 

„     17 

Nov.  17 

„      „  Verkholensk 

n      1» 

,.     17 

.,      ,,  Ust-Ilginskaya     . 

„     20 

,     13 

,,      „  Ust-Orlinskaya    . 

„     18 

,       9 

,,      „  Omoloevskaya     . 

„     18 

,     14 

„      ,,  Kirensk 

..     24 

,       4 

,,      ,,  Vitimsk 

„     25 

,     21 

,,      „  Nyuiskaya 

June  3 

,     19 

„      „  Olekminsk. 

»       1 

,     19 

,,      „  Yakutsk     . 

„     10 

,     12 

„      „  Markha 

,,       6 

,     10 

„      „  Bulun 

„     16 

,      2 

„      „  (mouth) 

July    8 

Oct.  15 

Lower  Tunguska,  see  Angara. 

Maya  at  Ust-Maiskaya     . 

May  29 

Nov.  10 

Nercha  at  Nerchinsk 

»     14 

„      9 

Oka  at  Ziminskoe    . 

„     15 

„     23 

„     ,,  Bratski-Ostrog  (mouth) 

„     23 

„     19 

Olekma  at  Troitskoe 

„    30 

„     16 

Olenek  at  mouth 

July  16  (one  year) 

Oct.  13 

Onon  at  Aksha 

May    5 

Nov.  25 

,.      ,,  Ust-Uya     . 

n     12 

„     20 

Oya  at  Yermakovskoe 

„     24 

Penzhina  at  Penzhina    ,  . 

June  12  (one  year) 

Oct.  23 

Pyasina  at  Vedenskoe 


Nov.   1 

„        „  Zaostrovskoe  . 

July  9  (one  year) 

Oct.  14 

„        „  mouth 

Aug.  4  (one  year) 

„       7 

Selenga  at  Novi-Selenginsk 

May    8 

Dec.    1 

„        ,,  Verkhne-Udins 

k       . 


,       9 






Average  date 

date  of 


of  breaking 


up  of  ice. 


Shilka  at  Mitrofanova 

May  10 

Nov.  23 

„       „  Monastirskoe 

„     17 

„     17 

„       „  Stryetensk 

„     11 

„     21 

„       „  Pokro^skaya 

„     18 

„    ir, 

Suifun  at  Razdolnoe         . 

April  18 

Dec.  11 

Suputinka  at  Nikolsk-Ussuriski 

„     16 

„       4 

Taimir  at  mouth      .... 

July  23  (one  year) 

Sept.  29 

Tuba  at  Kuraginskoe 

May   7 

Dec.    G 

(Lower)  Tunguska  at  Preobrazhenskoe 

„    21 

Nov.    1 

„  ..          „          „  Monastirskoe  (mouth) 

June  10 

Oct.  31 

Turukhan  at  Yanov          . 

„     11 

„     13 

„          „  River  Bayukta  mouth  . 

„     11 

„     21 

„           „  Turukhansk 

„      6 

Nov.  3 

Uchur  at  Yarmank 

May  24 


Uda  at  Udski-Ostrog 

„      7 

Nov.  25 

Uda  at  Nizhne-Udinsk     . 

,,    14 

,.     17 

„     „  Verkhne-Udinsk  . 

„     13 

,.     25 

Upper  Tunguska,  see  Angara. 

Ussuri  at  Kozlovskaya     . 

April  30 

„    28 

„       „  Khabarovsk 

May    G 

Dec.    8 

Vilyui  at  Nyurba     .... 

June   1 

Oct.  29 

„       „  Vilyuisk    .... 

„       5 

Nov.    2 

Yana  at  Verkhoyansk 

„     11 

Oct.  23 

„       „  Kazache     .... 

„     17 

„      9 

Yenisei  at  Minusinsk 

May  11 

Nov.  29 

.,        ,,  Abakanskoe     . 

„     11 

Dec.    4 

„        „  Krasnoyarsk    . 

„     12 

„      5 

,,        „  Kazachinskoe 

„     15 

Nov.  26 

,.        „  Yeniseisk 

„     19 

Dec.    2 

„        ,,  Nazimovo 

„     18 

Nov.  28 

,.        „  Verkhne-Imbatskoe 

„     29 

.,     21 

„        ,,  Turukhansk 

June   8 

„     11 

„        ,,  Potapovskoe    . 

„     20 

(Nov.  14) 

,,        ,,  Luzino    .... 

n      19 

Nov.    4 

,,        „  Selyakino 

.,     19 

(Nov.  14) 

„  Tolsti  Nos        . 

„    25 

Nov.   3 

,.        „  Golchikha 

July     2 

»      5 

,,        „  (mouth)  .... 

June  23 

Oct.  30 

Zalara  at  Zalarinskoe 

May    4 

Nov.  15 

Zavitaya  at  Mikhail  ovskaya 

April  25 

n     21 

Zeya  at  Blagovyeshchensk 

May   11 

„    26 



The  Tundra — Coniferous  Forests — The  Amur  Forests — The  Pacific 
Forests — Alpine  Vegetation — Wooded  Steppes — Kirghiz  Steppes — Trans- 
baikal  Steppes.  # 

The  vegetation  of  Siberia  remains  in  its  original  state,  and 
man  has  effected  few  changes.  Broadly  speaking,  there  are 
three  great  types  of  vegetation,  very  unequal  in  the  areas 
they  cover.  In  the  north  along  the  Arctic  Ocean  is  the 
tundra,  while  an  immense  forest  covers  the  rest  of  Siberia, 
with  the  exception  of  the  steppe-lands  in  the  south-west.  The 
first  two  of  these  divisions  extend  into  Arctic  Russia. 

The  Tundra 

The  tundra  stretches  in  a  band  20  to  200  miles  wide  from 
west  to  east  of  the  Russian  Empire  along  the  Arctic  shores. 
The  southern  limit  averages  about  lat.  68°  N.,  but  in  the 
Pechora  and  Ob  basins  the  boundary  recedes  south  to  about 
the  Arctic  Circle,  in  the  Khatanga  basin  it  advances  to  about 
lat.  72°  N.,  and  in  the  far  east  it  trends  south  to  the  northern 
end  of  Kamchatka.  All  the  far  north-east  from  about  long. 
160°  E.  to  Bering  Strait  is  covered  with  tundra.  Tundra  in  an 
impoverished  form  occurs  on  the  Arctic  islands  north  of 
Russia  and  Siberia. 

While  the  term  tundra  is  often  used  to  convey  the  sense  of 
a  treeless  Arctic  plain,  it  really  has  reference  only  to  the  special 
type  of  vegetation  which  is  generally  found  associated  with 
Arctic  plains.  Tundra  frequently  occurs  also  on  considerable 
elevations,  as  in  the  Taimir  region,  the  Chukchee  Peninsula, 
or  the  far  east  generally. 

The  vegetation  of  the  tundra  is  chiefly  grasses,  sedges,  and 



herbaceous  plants,  among  which  arc  many  bulbous  species. 
Cold  waterlogged  soil  and  want  of  humus  militate  against 
plant  life.  The  only  trees  are  dwarf  birches  (Betula  nana)  and 
illows  not  exceeding  a  few  inches  in  height  and  generally 
eeping  on  the  ground.  Low  bushes  of  heath,  azalea,  and 
arbutus  also  occur,  but  only  in  sheltered  nooks  do  the  trees 
or  bushes  grow  to  any  height.  Mosses  and  lichens,  including 
the  reindeer  '  moss  '  are  numerous,  and  in  the  east  are  the 
principal  plants.  In  general  character  the  tundra  is  uniform 
from  Russia  to  Bering  Strait,  and  for  that  matter  all  round 
the  Arctic  Ocean,  even  if  the  species  of  plants  differ.  In  level 
places  it  is  more  swampy  than  in  the  hilly  parts,  and  peat 
forms  extensively.  It  is  frozen  and  snow-covered  for  8  or 
9  months  in  the  year.  In  the  summer  the  surface  thaws,  but 
the  subsoil  remains  frozen  :  the  tundra  for  a  few  weeks  is 
bright  with  flowers  and  alive  with  insect  life,  including  mos- 
quitoes, but  at  that  season  it  is  almost  impassable  to  man. 
It  is  quite  useless  for  agriculture,  and  has  no  economic  value 
except  for  reindeer  breeding. 

Coniferous  Forests 

The  coniferous  forests  or  taiga  begin  gradually  where  the 
tundra  ends.  The  polar  limit  of  trees  is  largely  determined 
by  dry  cold  winds  in  winter  which  are  hostile  to  all  tree 
growth.  The  forests  never  reach  the  north  coast,  but  in  some 
sheltered  river  valleys  such  as  those  of  the  Ob,  Yenisei,  and 
Lena,  a  few  badly  developed  trees  reach  the  delta,  and,  gener- 
ally speaking,  the  rivers  seem  to  carry  the  forests  northward 
into  the  tundra  region.  The  taiga  in  one  form  or  another 
extends  from  the  Pacific  through  Asia,  Russia,  Finland,  and 
Scandinavia,  to  the  Atlantic.  Southward  it  extends  to  the 
confines  of  Siberia,  where  it  gives  way  to  the  steppes  of  Mon- 
golia and  Russian  Central  Asia.  The  forests  vary  a  good  deal 
in  appearance  and  species,  but  are  everywhere  with  a  few 
small  exceptions  either  solely  or  principally  coniferous. 

In  Arctic  Russia  the  chief  species  are  the  Scots  pine  (Pinus 
sylvestris),  the  Norway  spruce  {Abies  excelsa),  and  the  silver 


fir  (A.pectinata)  ;  in  the  Urals  the  Siberian  fir  (Abies  sibirica), 
and  the  Siberian  larch  (Larix  sibirica).  The  deciduous  trees 
which  occur  are  oak,  elm,  ash,  maple,  and  apple. 

In  the  drier  parts  of  the  taiga  of  western  Siberia  the 
commonest  species  are  the  Siberian  fir,  the  so-called  Siberian 
'cedar ',  or  stone  pine  (Pinus  cembra),  the  spruce  (Picea  obovata), 
the  silver  fir,  and  the  Siberian  larch.  These  are  the  prevailing 
trees  in  the  Yenisei  basin,  the  basin  of  the  upper  Ob,  and  the 
Altai  region.  Deciduous  trees  are  rare.  In  the  wetter  region 
of  the  basins  of  the  middle  and  lower  Ob  and  the  lower  Irtish 
the  taiga  is  marshy  and  has  thick,  impenetrable  undergrowth. 
Larch  is  rare,  and  the  Siberian  fir  predominates,  but  there  is 
also  an  admixture  of  deciduous  trees  such  as  birch  and  aspen. 
Thickets  of  poplar,  alder,  and  willow  fringe  the  streams,  and 
there  are  some  birches. 

Berry  bushes  are  frequent  except  in  the  swampy  parts,  and 
include  the  wortleberry,  bilberry,  Arctic  bramble,  raspberry, 
and  red  and  black  currants. 

The  Altai  Mountains  have  the  same  coniferous  forests  as 
western  Siberia,  but  they  are  more  open  and  the  trees  grow 
tall.  In  places  there  is  undergrowth,  but  as  a  general  rule  it 
is  absent.  The  forests  extend  to  an  altitude  of  about  5,000  ft. 
on  the  southern  and  6,000  ft.  on  the  northern  side.  On  the 
south  the  flora  is  richest,  and  rhododendrons  and  azaleas 

The  southern  part  of  the  marshy  taiga  of  the  Ob  basin  is 
known  as  the  Vasuigan  swamps.  They  are  most  fully  deve- 
loped in  the  northern  part  of  the  region  between  the  Ob  and 
the  Irtish,  but  also  stretch  north  of  the  Ob,  and  consist  of 
swamps  covered  with  dense  thickets  of  birch,  alder,  aspen, 
Siberian  cedar,  pines,  and  a  few  larches.  The  Russian  name 
is  unman.  They  are  practically  impassable  except  in  winter. 
In  time  of  spring  floods  these  urmans  are  so  much  inundated 
that  they  are  termed  the  Vasuigan  Sea. 

The  forests  of  eastern  Siberia  are  very  uniform  from  the 
Yenisei  basin  eastward  to  the  Amur  region  and  the  Stanovoi 
Mountains.     In   the   north   they   merge   gradually   through 


a  region  of  gnarled  and  stunted  trees  into  the  tundra.  The 
Siberian  fir  and  the  eastern  larch  (Larix  daurica)  are  the 
prevailing  species,  but  the  Siberian  '  cedar  '  (Pinus  cembra) 
and  the  Scots  pine  also  occur.  The  spruce  (Picea  obovata) 
and  the  Norway  spruce  go  as  far  east  as  the  Lena.  On  the 
whole,  however,  the  forest  of  east  differs  from  that  of  west 
Siberia  mainly  in  less  luxuriant  growth.  Undergrowth  is 
not  so  frequent,  and  the  hilly  nature  of  the  country  gives 
fewer  areas  of  marshy  taiga.  Furthermore,  the  poor  rainfall 
and  the  cold  dry  winds  during  the  long  severe  winter  do  not 
favour  tree  growth.  The  forests  on  the  whole  are  open  and 
low.  Along  the  river  banks,  however,  and  in  more  sheltered 
places  the  trees  grow  taller  and  thicker.  In  the  upper  Lena 
basin  the  forests  are  more  of  the  western  type,  and  the  Scots 
pine  and  the  Siberian  larch  grow  to  a  large  size. 

The  Amur  Forests 

East  of  Lake  Baikal  and  in  the  Amur  region  the  vegetation 
changes.  The  Transbaikal  is  a  transition  region  between  the 
eastern  and  western  floras,  but  among  forest  trees  all  the 
widespread  species  of  the  northern  taiga  are  found.  In  the 
eastern  part  foliage  trees  make  their  appearance.  These  are 
of  species  different  from,  though  allied  to,  those  which  occur 
in  the  northern  forests  of  Russia,  the  oak,  the  elm,  and  charac- 
teristic species  of  the  hazel  and  wild  apple.  Bushes  that  are 
typical  of  Mongolia  also  make  their  appearance. 

In  the  Amur  region  the  divergence  of  the  vegetation  from 
that  of  eastern  Siberia  in  general  is  more  pronounced.  The 
flora  is  characterized  by  a  great  variety  of  forms  and  by  the 
luxuriance  of  some  species.  Plants  which  are  typical  of  China 
and  Japan  occur,  and  even  representatives  of  the  North 
American  flora.  In  the  northern  part  of  the  basin  the  forests 
are  like  those  of  eastern  Siberia  in  general,  but  different 
species  appear,  until  nearer  the  Amur  the  forests  have  an 
entirely  different  appearance,  owing  largely  to  the  presence 
of  many  deciduous  trees.  The  eastern  larch,  the  Siberian  fir, 
the  Siberian  spruce,  the  Scots  pine,  and  the  yew  occur  as  well 


as  another  species  of  spruce,  the  ayan  pitch  pine  (Picea 
ayanensis),  and  the  white  cedar  or  Manchu  pine  (Pinus  mand- 
shurica),  which  replaces  the  Pinus  cembra  of  the  north  and 
west.  Among  deciduous  trees  are  the  oak,  elm,  lime,  maple, 
walnut,  ash,  aspen,  willow,  hornbeam,  and  apple,  all  of  distinct 
eastern  species,  and  the  cork  tree  (Phellodendron  amurense). 
In  the  upper  and  middle  Amur  regions  deciduous  woods  are 
commoner  than  coniferous  woods  along  the  river,  and  wide 
meadows  of  natural  grass  land  often  occur,  but  in  the  lower 
Amur  region  coniferous  forests  again  prevail. 

The  Sikhota  Alin  Range  and  the  Maritime  Province  generally 
are  also  forested.  In  the  north  the  forests  are  mainly  of  larch, 
Siberian  fir,  and  white  cedar,  but  in  the  south  deciduous 
trees  are  more  common,  and  the  oak  as  well  as  the  Siberian 
cedar  are  the  characteristic  species.  These  forests  are  typical 
of  the  Ussuri  region. 

The  Pacific  Forests 

The  northern  taiga  continues  to  the  shores  of  the  Okhotsk 
Sea,  and  occurs  in  Kamchatka  and  Sakhalin.  The  eastern 
larch  (Larix  daurica)  is  the  prevailing  species,  but  the  Siberian 
fir  and  Siberian  cedar  are  common,  mingled  with  a  few  birch, 
alders,  and  shrubs,  including  the  clematis,  wild  rose,  and 
honeysuckle.  The  herbaceous  vegetation  is  more  prominent 
than  farther  west,  and  the  forests  undergo  a  change  in  appear- 
ance. The  upper  limit  is  at  a  low  altitude,  and  the  trees  are 
dwarfed  on  account  of  the  strong  winds. 

In  the  forests  of  Kamchatka  the  trees  are  more  widely 
spaced,  and  the  Siberian  fir  and  the  cedar  are  the  commonest 
species,  mixed  with  which  are  a  f^ew  deciduous  species  in- 
cluding the  birch,  alder,  and  poplar.  Some  natural  meadows 

Sakhalin,  in  the  south,  has  forests  like  Kamchatka  :  in  the 
north  the  forests  rather  resemble  those  of  Okhotsk,  the  eastern 
larch  being  the  chief  species. 


Alpine  Vegetation 
Alpine  vegetation  occurs  at  varying  altitudes  on  the  highest 
mountains  in  eastern  Siberia.  In  the  Altai  it  begins  at  about 
6,500  ft.  ;  in  the  Sayansk  Mountains  at  about  the  same 
altitude,  but  in  the  Dzhugdzhur  and  Stanovoi  Mountains 
and  in  the  Verkhoyansk  Mountains  at  gradually  decreasing 
altitudes  towards  the  north  until  it  merges  into  the  Arctic 
tundra.  The  general  aspect  of  the  alpine  vegetation  is  much 
like  that  of  the  tundra  except  in  the  absence  of  swamps. 
Between  the  alpine  vegetation  and  the  forests  lies  a  belt  of 
rich  mountain  pasture,  comparable  with  the  high  pastures  of 
the  European  Alps  and  containing  many  of  the  same  species. 

Wooded  Steppes 

Steppe  land  is  rare  in  Siberia  proper,  and  occurs  in  large 
areas  only  in  the  west,  where  it  is  found  to  the  south  of  the 
taiga.  The  Ural  forests  and  the  Vasuigan  swamps  give  way 
to  the  Ishim  and  Baraba  steppes,  which  extend  in  a  strip 
about  100  to  200  miles  wide  from  the  Ural  slopes  to  the  Altai 
region.  These  are  intermediate  between  the  forests  to  the 
north  and  the  true  steppe  lands  to  the  south.  Firs  gradually 
disappear  and  are  replaced  by  birches,  aspens,  and  willows, 
which  occur  in  clumps  and  along  river  banks,  in  a  general 
expanse  of  rolling  grass  lands.  In  the  northern  part  of  the 
Ishim  and  Baraba  steppes  trees  are  frequent  and  swamps  and 
urmans  occur.  Southward  the  swamps  are  replaced  by 
numerous  small  lakes,  many  of  which  are  saline,  and  trees 
become  less  frequent  until  in  about  lat.  55°  N.  true  steppe 
lands  begin.  The  Siberian  Railway  runs  across  the  Baraba 
steppes.  In  the  upper  Ob  basin  these  steppe  lands  are  wider 
than  to  the  west,  and  extend  from  the  railway  south  to 
Semipalatinsk  and  east  to  Biisk  and  Kuznetsk. 

The  Ishim  and  Baraba  steppes  have  a  fertile  soil  consisting 
largely  of  black  earth  (chernozem),  a  kind  of  loess,  rich  in 
humus,  and  are  the  most  valuable  agricultural  region  in  Siberia. 
A  detached  area  of  wooded  steppes  lies  farther  east  between 
Achinsk  and  Minusinsk. 


Kirghiz  Steppes 

True  steppe  lands  begin  south  of  the  wooded  steppe  and  lie 
outside  Siberia  proper.  They  cover  the  region  known  generally 
as  the  Kirghiz  steppes.  To  the  north,  bordering  the  Baraba 
steppes,  are  the  feather-grass  steppes  stretching  from  the 
Caspian  steppe  lands  of  Russia  to  the  Yenisei  basin,  with 
a  breadth  of  200  to  270  miles.  Trees  are  rare,  and  are  repre- 
sented only  by  a  few  birches,  aspens,  willows,  alders,  ashes,  and 
poplars  in  the  wetter  places.  Dwarf  bushes,  many  of  them 
thorny,  are  characteristic,  including  broom,  hawthorn,  and 
tamarisk.  The  herbaceous  flora  is  rich  and  embraces  many 
flowering  plants.  Feather  grass  (Stipa)  is  characteristic.  To 
the  south  the  climatic  conditions  peculiar  to  this  region  become 
intensified.  Rainfall  decreases  and  summer  temperatures 
increase.  The  change  is  reflected  in  the  vegetation,  which 
assumes  a  semi-desert  appearance  as  the  steppes  become  more 

The  steppe  lands  of  western  Siberia  are  chiefly  of  value  for 
horse  and  cattle  breeding.  On  account  of  the  want  of  rainfall 
there  is  little  scope  for  agriculture. 

Transbaikal  Steppes 
In  eastern  Siberia  natural  steppe  land  is  rare,  for  climatic 
conditions  are  more  favourable  to  the  development  of  forest, 
but  in  the  Transbaikal  region  between  the  south  of  Lake 
Baikal  and  the  River  Argun  there  are  considerable  areas  of 
steppe  lands,  in  general  appearance  not  unlike  the  mountain 
pastures  of  the  Altai  Mountains.  This  is  best  developed  in 
the  valleys.  The  higher  ground  of  the  Yablonoi  and  other 
ranges  is  covered  with  forests.  These  Transbaikal  meadow 
lands  are  excellent  for  agriculture.  In  the  south  towards  the 
frontier  of  Siberia  they  pass  into  the  dry  steppe  lands  of 


Animal  Life — Fisheries  :  A.  Arctic  Russian  ;  B.  Western  Siberian  ; 
C.  Eastern  Siberian — Products  of  Wild  Animals 

Animal  Life 

The  land  may  be  divided  into  four  zones  with  special 
geographical  characteristics,  which  are  differentiated  to  some 
extent  by  their  fauna.  In  the  north  (1)  the  Arctic  or  tundra 
zone,  with  ice  or  reindeer-moss,  has  its  special  group  of  animals ; 
westward  is  (2)  the  taiga  belt  of  coniferous  trees,  where  in  the 
depths  of  the  forest  there  are  not  many  wild  animals  ;  it  is 
rather  the  skirts  of  the  forest  and  the  clearings  made  by  the 
axe  or  fire  to  which  animals  resort,  and  in  such  clearings  and 
at  river  fords  the  trapper  finds  them  ;  (3)  farther  south  the 
open  steppe  has  fresh  denizens,  and  finally  (4)  the  high 
mountains  of  the  Altai  and  Sayansk  Ranges  introduce  a  new 
element.  No  hard  and  fast  line,  however,  can  be  drawn 
between  these  belts,  and  there  is  considerable  overlapping. 

Special  Characteristics  of  Siberian  Fauna 

Among  the  characteristics  of  Siberian  fauna  are  to  be 
noted  :  (1)  The  animals  as  a  rule  are  of  greater  size  ;  some 
varieties  are  twice  as  large  as  the  corresponding  breeds  in 
Europe.  (2)  White  predominates,  even  among  domestic 
animals  :  many  animals,  like  the  ermine,  Arctic  fox,  and 
hare,  are  white  during  the  winter  months.  (3)  In  excep- 
tional circumstances  there  are  huge  migrations.  Most  famous 
are  those  of  the  lemmings,  which  move  in  vast  armies  regard- 
less of  natural  obstacles,  swimming  estuaries,  where  they 
become  the  prey  of  killer  whales  or  seals,  and  often  plunging 
into  the  sea. 

d  2 


Land  Mammals 

There  are  found  in  the  south  the  tiger,  panther,  snow- 
leopard  (Felis  irbis),  lynx,  and  two  varieties  of  wild  cat.  The 
tiger  and  snow-leopard  do  not  reside  north  of  Lake  Balkhash, 
or  the  River  Amur,  but  occasionally  stray  beyond.  The  tiger 
is  not  infrequently  found  near  Chita  and  within  120  miles  of 
Nikolaevsk,  and  is  often  met  with  in  the  jungles  of  Primorsk, 
in  which  120  to  150  are  shot  or  poisoned  every  year.  Tigers 
gave  great  trouble  during  the  construction  of  the  Ussuri  Rail- 
way. The  natives  view  the  tiger  with  superstition.  The  tiger 
is  originally  a  Siberian  and  Mongolian  animal,  which  has  only 
reached  India  in  comparatively  recent  times  ;  the  Indian 
tiger  has  much  shorter  hair  than  the  northern  variety.  The 
lynx  is  comparatively  common  in  all  mountainous  parts  of 
Siberia  ;  its  fur  is  regarded  as  very  valuable.  The  panther 
is  found  in  the  Primorsk  forests.  The  steppe-cat  is  found  in 
the  Kirghiz  steppes,  and  there  are  two  varieties  of  wild  cat 
in  the  Altai.  It  may  be  observed  that  the  domestic  Siberian 
cat  is  very  fine,  rivalling  the  Persian,  but  the  European  climate 
does  not  agree  with  it.  In  Tura  black  cats  are  specially  bred 
for  their  fur. 

The  wolf  is  found  all  over  Siberia  ;  in  the  tundra  it  hunts 
the  reindeer,  and  on  the  steppes  the  roe.  The  wolf  is  driven 
from  the  reindeer  by  shouting  at  it.  Often  a  wooden  clapper 
is  hung  round  the  neck  of  the  leading  reindeer  :  it  makes 
a  noise  as  though  of  a  man  chopping  wood,  and  keeps  the 
wolves  at  a  distance  till  they  have  become  habituated  to  the 
sound.  Wolves,  when  hunting  in  small  packs,  are  not  danger- 
ous to  human  beings.  The  solitary  wolf  is  a  retiring  creature 
and  anxious  to  avoid  observation.  In  the  north  it  is  hunted 
not  merely  to  protect  the  reindeer,  but  because  the  fur  is 
valuable  for  caps,  mittens,  &c.  The  Alpine  wolf  is  found 
in  the  Altai. 

The  fox  is  found  in  many  species  over  the  whole  country. 
North  of  lat.  60°  is  the  Arctic  fox  (Vulpes  lagopus),  distin- 
guished by  its  short,  blunt  ears,  long,  bushy  tail,  and  very  long 
hair  in  winter.     In  the  summer  its  upper  parts  are  of  a 


brownish  colour  ;  in  the  winter  its  whole  coat  turns  white. 
It  is  found  on  the  continent  and  on  the  islands  of  the  Arctic 
Ocean,  but  is  less  common  in  eastern  than  in(westernjSiberia. 
It  is  diminishing  in  numbers,  owing  to  the  reckless  way  in 
which  it  is  trapped.  The  cubs  are  trapped  in  the  burrow. 
All  trapping  of  the  fox-cub  and  sale  of  the  cub-skins  should 
be  prohibited,  nor  should  it  be  permitted  to  catch  it  when 
young,  for  its  summer  coat  is  of  little  value.  The  winter  coat 
is  exceptionally  valuable  for  its  downy  fur  and  its  colour. 
One  variety  of  it  is  the  blue  fox,  so  called  from  its  slaty  colour, 
which  is  found  chiefly  in  Arctic  Russia  and  Kamchatka  ;  it  is 
valuable  and  scarce  ;  its  colour  remains  the  same  throughout 
the  year,  but  its  hair  is  longer  in  winter.  The  red  fox  of 
Siberia  has  a  deeper,  richer  red  than  our  variety,  and  a  much 
more  bushy  tail.  Its  skin  is  esteemed,  but  not  so  much  as 
that  of  the  blue  fox.  Another  very  valuable  species  is  the 
black  or  silver  fox  ( V.  argentatus)  which  has  black  hair  with 
silver  tips.  The  bulk  of  the  skins  exported  by  the  Koryaks 
are  fox  skins.  In  the  steppes,  ranging  from  European  Russia 
to  the  Amur,  is  the  steppe-fox  or  corsac,  a  sort  of  repre- 
sentative of  the  Indian  species.  Foxes  are  usually  killed 
with  clubs  or  trapped,  so  as  not  to  spoil  the  skin :  they  are 
also  poisoned  with  strychnine. 

The  raccoon  dog,  a  native  of  China  and  Japan,  is  found  in 
the  Amur  basin  :  it  is  highly  valued  by  the  Manchu  for  its 
winter  skin  :  in  summer  it  is  eaten. 

Wild  dogs  are  found  in  the  south  up  to  the  snow-line. 

Bears  are  found  throughout  Siberia.  In  the  north  is  found 
the  Polar  bear  (Ursus  maritimus)  wherever  there  are  seals, 
which  it  hunts  either  along  the  beach  or  on  the  sea-ice.  It 
arrives  on  floating  ice,  and  lands  on  the  coast,  but  does  not 
penetrate  far  inland,  and  though  known  to  have  gone  up 
the  Gulf  of  Yenisei  as  far  as  Tolsti  Nos,  it  generally  does 
not  leave  the  vicinity  of  sea-ice,  for  it  is  really  a  sea-mammal. 
Its  fur  is  used  for  floor-rugs  and  is  very  durable.  The  brown 
or  Kamchatkan  bear  (Ursus  beringianus)  is  found  across  the 
centre  of  Siberia,  wherever  there  are  forests.     It  is  hunted  for 


fur  and  food.  In  the  southern  mountain  ranges  that  adjoin 
the  steppe  district  and  by  the  Amur  is  found  a  black  bear, 
(Ursus  tibetanus)  and  several  other  species  occur  in  the  south. 
The  bear  is  sometimes  snared,  sometimes  hunted.  Where 
fish  abound,  the  huntsman  waits  for  him  by  the  rivers.  The 
bear  cage  is  a  standing  feature  of  the  villages  of  many  tribes, 
especially  of  the  Goldi  and  the  Gilyaks.  The  bear  takes  part 
in  many  religious  ceremonies  (see  Chapter  V). 

The  group  of  Mustelidae  is  of  great  economic  value  because 
of  the  trade  in  their  furs.  Most  important  of  all  is  the  sable 
(Mustela  zibellina),  a  variety  of  marten.  Its  furs  were  the 
great  lure  into  Siberia  of  the  Russian  trader  in  the  sixteenth 
century,  and  for  many  years  were  the  form  in  which  yassak 
(tribute)  was  paid.  It  dislikes  the  proximity  of  human 
habitations  and  retires  more  and  more  to  uninhabited  parts, 
and  has  been  seriously  diminished  in  numbers.  There  are, 
however,  many  in  Kamchatka.  An  order  was  made  by  the 
Russian  Government  that  from  February  1, 1913,  to  Octoberl5, 
1916,  no  sables  should  be  killed  nor  sable  fur  sold  throughout 
Siberia.  It  is  a  difficult  animal  to  hunt.  It  possesses  a  down 
which  is  entirely  dark  and  of  bluish  tinge,  and  long,  soft, 
glossy,  black  hair  :  the  finest  sable  fur  is  tipped  with  silver. 
The  farther  north  the  sable  is  found  the  better  is  its  fur,  and 
it  varies  somewhat  in  tint  in  different  parts  of  Siberia.  It  is 
found  up  to  lat.  68°  N.  The  best  sables  are  found  in  the 
Vitimskand  Olekma  regions,  and  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Ner- 
chinsk and  the  headwaters  of  the  Amgun  and  Zeya.  The 
Sakhalin  sables  are  of  little  value.  White  sable  found  in  the 
Barguzin  region  is  very  rare  and  valuable.  It  is  hunted  in 
the  beginning  of  winter.  The  kolonok  {Mustela  sibirica)  is 
used  as  a  substitute  for  the  sable,  especially  to  provide  artists' 
'  sable  '  brushes.  At  Irbit  fair  50,000  skins  are  sold  annually. 
Other  animals  of  the  same  type  are  the  marten,  of  which  there 
are  three  varieties  in  the  Altai  and  upper  Yenisei,  and  the 
cognate,  but  smaller  weasel  and  polecat.  The  ermine  is 
valuable,  and  is  becoming  correspondingly  rare  in  some 
districts :  the  best  ermines  come  from  Ishim  and  the  Baraba 


steppe :  the  skins  are  rarely  over  a  foot  in  length,  and  they 
are  sold  in  lots  of  40  together,  known  as  'timbers'.  The 
ermine  is  usually  trapped.  The  glutton  (or  wolverine)  is 
a  much  larger  member  of  the  same  sub-family.  It  has 
■powerful  teeth,  is  almost  entirely  nocturnal  in  its  habits,  and 

Is  usually  active  through  the  winter :  it  swims  streams  and 
ascends  rough-barked  trees  in  search  of  food.  It  inhabits 
i  belt  across  the  middle  of  Siberia  excluding  the  extreme  north. 
lb  is  also  found  in  the  north  of  Sakhalin.  The  glutton  is  no 
onger  common.  The  skunk  is  taken  for  his  fur  in  large 
numbers  in  the  south  of  the  Tomsk  Government  and  in  the 
Amur  region. 

The  badger  is  found  right  across  Siberia  as  far  north  as 
lat.  53°  N. 

The  otter  is  found  throughout  Siberia  up  to  the  Arctic 
Circle  and  on  Sakhalin,  but  is  becoming  rare.  It  is  most 
hunted  on  the  Amur  for  trade  with  the  Manchu  and  Chinese, 
who  value  its  fur  highly. 

The  reindeer  is  most  widely  spread,  being  found  not  only 
in  the  northern  tundras,  but  among  the  Soyots  in  the  Sayansk 
Mountains,  where  there  is  plenty  of  lichen.  The  domesticated 
reindeer  has  been  described  elsewhere  (see  chap.  V,  p.  103). 
The  wild  reindeer  is  hunted  for  food  in  winter ;  it  is  also  used 
for  interbreeding  with  the  domesticated  animal. 

In  the  north  is  also  found  the  elk,  the  largest  member  of 
the  family  :  the  flesh  is  edible,  the  taste  resembling  some- 
thing between  venison  and  mutton.  Its  skin  is  also  valuable  ; 
in  many  years  there  are  10,000  elk  skins  in  the  market  of 
Yeniseisk.  Its  importance  along  the  Amur  is  shown  by  its 
name  bayu,  a  Tungus  word  meaning  '  the  animal '. 

There  are  several  varieties  of  the  American  wapiti  (Cervus 
canadensis)  in  the  south  of  the  country.  The  number  of 
wapiti  has  been  greatly  diminished  by  the  sale  of  their  horns 
to  the  Chinese,  and  the  Russian  Government  have  issued 
a  prohibition  which  forbids  their  being  shot  on  the  Russian 
side  of  the  frontier.  The  wapiti  is  distinguished  by  the  great 
size  of  the  fourth  tine  of  the  antlers. 


Closely  akin  to  the  wapiti  is  the  maral  deer,  which  is 
domesticated  in  the  Kirghiz  country,  the  Altai,  the  middle 
Amur,  and  the  Ussuri  region  :  it  is  bred  for  the  sake  of  its 
horns,  which  are  sawn  off  when  in  the  velvet,  to  produce  from 
them  a  powder  called  panty,  in  high  request  among  the  Chinese 
for  medicinal  purposes.  Western  physicians  believe  that  it 
has  no  medicinal  value,  but  merely  quickens  the  heart's 
action.  It  is  sold  for  30s.  a  lb.  Another  member  of  the  family 
that  produces  an  article  of  value  is  the  musk-deer  {Moschus 
moschiferus),  which  is  hunted  in  the  Altai,  Sayansk,  and  Amur 
regions,  and  in  Sakhalin,  for  the  sake  of  the  musk  obtained 
from  it.  It  is  caught  in  winter,  when  the  more  vigorous 
climate  makes  it  migrate  from  its  ordinary  home  to  something 
more  accessible  to  hunters.  Its  flesh  is  eaten,  its  skin  used  for 
clothing,  and  its  thin  leg  bones  made  into  arrow-heads. 

The  roebuck  is  represented  by  two  species,  Capreoluspygargus 
in  the  upper  Yenisei  and  Altai  region,  and  C.  manchuricus, 
which  migrates  from  Manchuria  into  the  Amur  region  in  spring. 
It  supplies  abundant  food.  The  skin  and  horns  are  sold  to  the 

Other  members  of  the  family  found  in  Siberia  are  the 
common  stag,  rock-deer,  spotted  deer,  and  siku.  The  last 
named  is  found  in  the  island  of  Askold  near  Vladivostock. 
There  are  several  kinds  of  big-horn,  but  the  Ovis  poll  of  the 
Pamirs,  which  is  sometimes  said  to  be  found  in  the  Tienshan, 
is  never  really  found  so  far  north.  The  real  0.  ammon,  or 
argali,  is  found  in  the  Altai ;  its  wrinkled  horns  curl  so 
much  that  they  often  make  more  than  a  complete  circle.  It 
lives  amid  the  forest  on  mountains  between  3,000  and  4,000  ft. 
high,  and  is  difficult  to  secure.  Its  chief  enemy,  the  wolf, 
hunts  it  to  the  neighbourhood  of  its  lair,  so  that  the  young 
may  have  a  share.  Travellers  who  refer  to  argali  among  the 
lower  heights  of  the  Kirghiz  region  probably  mean  O.  sairensis 
or  some  closely  allied  species.  Between  the  Lena  and  Indigirka 
0.  borealis  occurs,  and  in  Kamchatka  0.  nivicola.  The  saiga 
antelope  (Saiga  tatarica)  extends  as  far  east  as  long.  92°  E., 
and  another  species  is  found  in  the  Primorsk  region.    A  gazelle 



(Gazella  gutturosa)  is  found  in  the  steppes  near  Kosh-Agach: 
is  usually  in  colour  of  a  light  fawn,  with  white  limbs, 
eeks,  underparts,  sides,  and  rump  ;  its  tail  is  short,  with 
brown  tip,  and  it  has  no  dark  face-markings,  like  most 
gazelles.  Among  the  Altai  there  are  a  large  but  rapidly 
diminishing  number  of  ibex  (Capra  sibirica),  gradually  being 
driven  into  the  more  remote  valleys.  It  has  very  long  horns, 
which  are  sold  to  the  Chinese  for  the  same  purpose  as  those 
of  the  maral.  The  Kalmuks  are  very  wasteful  in  hunting,  and 
unless  checked  will  exterminate  the  game  of  their  region 
There  are  wild  oxen  and  wild  goats  among  the  Sayansk 

The  musk  ox  (Ovibos  moscatus)  is  rare,  if  not  extinct,  in 
Siberia.    It  has  been  reported  from  Sakhalin. 

The  prickly  hog  is  found  in  the  southern  portion  of  the 
steppe  region  and  the  steppe  lands  of  the  east.  The  wild 
boar  occurs  in  the  east  mostly  in  Transbaikal  and  the  Amur 

The  wild  ass  (kulan)  is  found  upon  the  Kirghiz  steppe  : 
farther  south,  but  outside  the  limits  of  this  book,  is  found  the 
famous  Prezhevalski  horse. 

There  are  numerous  species  of  rodents.  Most  important 
from  the  commercial  point  of  view  are  the  squirrels,  the  sale 
of  whose  skins  is  enormous  :  only  the  skins  of  Russian  and 
Siberian  squirrels  are  marketable.  They  are  used  for  a  great 
variety  of  articles,  such  as  gloves,  hoods,  and  carriage-aprons. 
The  squirrels  are  of  various  colours,  of  which  the  black  are 
most  esteemed.  Black  squirrels  eat  mushrooms,  brown 
squirrels  cedar-cones,  red  squirrels  hazel-nuts.  Squirrels  are 
found  throughout  south  Siberia,  especially  in  the  forests,  but 
there  are  none  in  Kamchatka.  Besides  the  common  squirrel 
there  are  to  be  found  striped  squirrels  and  flying  squirrels. 
In  the  centre  of  Siberia  the  squirrel  is  much  hunted.  In 
the  Transbaikal  Province  three  million  are  killed  annually. 
Squirrels  are  usually  shot  with  guns  having  a  small  bore, 
and  with  bullets  the  size  of  a  pea,  so  as  to  injure  the  skin  as 
little  as  possible.     The  marmot  found  in  the  south,  though 


much  more  frequently  beyond  the  frontier,  is  of  commercial 
value,  because  of  the  export  of  its  skin  to  Europe,  where  it 
is  sold  as  imitation  sable.  A  variety  of  the  marmot  is  the 
tarabagan,  which  is  common  in  Transbaikal.  Related  to 
the  marmot  is  the  bobac  (Arctomys  bobac)  which  lives  in  the 
plains  and  stony  hill  lands,  and  the  suslik,  alike  the  friend 
and  enemy  of  man,  the  former  by  reason  of  its  flesh,  which  is 
esteemed  a  delicacy  by  the  dwellers  in  the  steppes,  and  the 
latter  because  its  energetic  burrowings  make  it  a  pest  to 
agriculturists.  It  has  been  found  specially  injurious  along 
the  Lena.  It  is  sometimes  called  the  pouched  marmot,  because 
of  its  big  cheek-pouches.  Both  it  and  the  lemming  (Lemmus 
obensis)  store  their  food  in  winter.  The  lemming  is  said  to 
protect  its  food  against  the  depredations  of  other  animals  by 
covering  it  with  poisonous  plants.  In  eastern  Siberia  the 
Kamchadals  remove  the  creature's  store  of  grain  and  roots, 
but  replace  it  with  caviar  or  remains  of  fish,  so  that  a  regular 
trade  is  instituted  between  man  and  beast.  The  migrations 
of  the  lemming  have  been  already  noted  (p.  51).  The  beaver 
is  only  found  west  of  the  River  Yenisei,  in  the  streams  of 
north  and  mid-Siberia  ;  but  it  has  grown  very  rare,  and  at 
the  present  time  has  almost  disappeared.  It  has  a  commercial 
value  not  only  for  its  skin,  but  for  the  castoreum  (beaver's 
cod)  obtained  from  it.  The  ush-kan,  or  Siberian  hare,  is 
spread  over  the  country  :  it  is  grey  in  the  summer  and  white 
during  the  winter,  and  has  very  long  hair.  About  1,000,000 
or  1,200,000  skins  are  sold  a  year,  half  of  them  at  Irbit.  The 
Siberian  peasants  neglect  it  as  a  means  of  food,  and  only 
unwillingly  eat  its  flesh.  The  polar  pika  hare  comes  as  far 
south  as  lat.  47°  N.  Other  rodents  are  the  vole,  hamster 
(west  of  the  Ob),  jerboa  (south  of  the  Steppes),  and  hairy- 
nosed  porcupine  (at  greater  altitudes).  The  rat  is  a  great  pest, 
but  its  activities  are  somewhat  restricted  by  building  store- 
houses on  poles. 

The  sea-mammals  of  Arctic  Russia   and  western  Siberia 
are  not  nearly  so  important  as  in  eastern  Siberia.     The  seals 


found  are  the  true  seals  (Phocidae),  in  both  west  and  east,  but 
the  sea-bears  or  fur-seals  (Otaridae)  only  occur  in  the  east .  True 
seals  have  a  great  commercial  value  by  reason  of  their  hides, 
their  blubber,  and  the  oil  produced  from  their  fat.  But  they 
are  extremely  destructive  of  the  fish  :  in  many  places  where  the 
seal  appears,  the  fisherman  abandons  his  occupation,  knowing 
that  his  task  is  useless  on  the  arrival  of  the  kozhya  ('  leather  :) 
as  he  calls  him.  In  places  like  the  Kola  Peninsula  they  ought 
to  be  kept  down  much  more  energetically,  for  the  protection 
of  the  fishing  industry.  At  Ponoi  the  seal-hunting  in  March 
and  April  is  very  profitable.  In  the  Kara  Sea  there  are  no 
seals ;  so  that  region  is  without  attraction  for  polar  bears. 
Seals  ascend  the  Amur  as  far  as  Eri  in  about  lat.  51°  N.  In 
Lake  Baikal  and  up  the  Selenga  is  found  a  distinct  species, 
P.  baicalensis,  which  is  hunted  for  its  skin. 

The  fur  seal  (Otaria  ursiria)  occurs  in  great  numbers  in  parts 
of  the  northern  Pacific,  including  the  Commander  Islands, 
Robben  Island,  and  the  Pribilov  Islands  ;  there  at  the  end  of 
May  or  early  in  June  the  males  arrive  :  then  about  the  middle 
of  June  arrive  the  females,  and  give  birth  to  their  young.  The 
pups  are  black  when  born,  but  in  August  have  a  fresh  coat 
of  grey  fur.  The  promiscuous  killing  of  fur  seals  when  in 
calf  out  at  sea  led  to  the  protracted  disputes  in  connexion 
with  the  Bering  Sea  arbitration.  The  sea  lion  (0.  Stelleri) 
visits  the  Pacific  coasts  in  autumn.  No  fur  seals  occur  in  the 
Arctic  Ocean. 

The  walrus  is  found  in  the  islands  of  the  Arctic  Ocean, 
and  at  various  points  west  of  the  Lena  (between  which  and 
the  Bering  Strait  it  is  never  found),  e.  g.  Ponoi  and  the 
Kara  Sea.  It  no  longer  occurs  in  the  Sea  of  Okhotsk.  It  is 
differentiated  from  fur-seals  by  the  absence  of  external  ears, 
by  the  structure  of  the  teeth,  including  the  presence  of  tusks, 
and  by  its  more  substantial  build.  It  is  hunted  for  the  sake 
of  its  blubber,  its  hide,  from  which  are  manufactured  harness 
and  sole  leather,  and  its  tusks,  the  ivory  of  which,  however, 
is  far  less  valuable  than  elephant  ivory.  Its  breeding  season 
is  from  April  to  June. 


The  chase  of  the  bowhead  or  right  whale  has  decayed  in 
the  Sea  of  Okhotsk  and  Bering  Sea. 

The  finner  whale  (Balaepoptera)  is  found  along  the  coasts 
of  Arctic  Russia  and  eastern  Siberia.  The  whale  '  fisheries  ' 
of  Finmark  are  active,  but  those  of  the  Kola  Peninsula  are 
feeble.  There  were  two  for  a  time  at  Port  Vladimir  and  Ara 
Bay,  but  they  closed  for  lack  of  capital.  During  their  short 
period  of  activity  they  killed  300  whales.  A  well-developed 
whale  fishery  might  do  great  business,  but  it  might  have  to 
face  the  antipathy  of  fishermen  in  other  parts  of  the  coast  on 
the  same  grounds  as  those  on  which  the  Norwegian  fishermen 
attacked  the  whalers.  These  reasons  were,  first,  the  whales 
were  thought  to  drive  away  the  Greenland  seal  which  preys  on 
fish,  and  secondly  because  whales  feed  on  capelan,  a  kind  of 
salmon  which  pursues  the  cod  inshore,  so  that  the  destruction 
of  whales  reduces  the  number  of  cod.  The  beluga  or  white 
whale  (Delphinapterus  leucas)  is  found  in  these  waters.  Its 
skin  is  cut  into  broad  strips  and  sold  to  the  Samoyedes  and 
Yuraks  for  reindeer  harness. 


There  are  said  to  be  285  species  of  birds  in  the  whole  of 
Siberia,  few  of  which  are  unknown  in  Europe.  The  chief 
line  of  demarcation  of  species  is  thought  to  be  the  watershed 
between  the  Yenisei  and  Lena,  but  so  much  of  the  country 
east  of  that  boundary  is  unexplored  that  it  is  difficult  to  bo 
very  precise  on  the  subject.  Seebohm,  in  his  book  The  Birds 
of  Siberia,  has  given  a  great  deal  of  information  about  the 
birds  of  Arctic  Russia  and  the  valley  of  the  Yenisei. 

The  Arctic  zone  has  few  permanent  residents  :  only  the 
ptarmigan,  snow-bunting,  raven,  snow-owl,  and  Icelandic 
falcon  are  found  there  always,  but  with  the  return  of  summer 
the  tundra  becomes  full  of  bird-life,  and  it  is  the  breeding- 
place  of  a  vast  variety  of  birds  from  the  beginning  of  May. 
They  are  bountifully  provided  by  nature  with  berries  that 
have  been  frozen  throughout  the  winter,  and  with  swarms 
of  mosquitoes.     The  commonest  of  these  summer  visitants 


seemed  to  Seebohm  to  be  the  Asiatic  golden  plover.  But  few 
birds  stay  longer  than  the  beginning  of  winter,  when  they 
migrate  to  the  belt  of  coniferous  taiga  further  south. 

Edible  birds. — It  is  difficult  to  say  what  a  native  of  Siberia 
will  or  will  not  eat,  and  it  is  probable  that  his  taste  in  the 
flesh  of  birds  is  as  catholic  as  in  other  forms  of  food.  It  is 
enough,  therefore,  to  mention  the  most  important  of  the  birds 
that  can  be  eaten.  Duck  of  various  kinds,  including  a 
long-tailed  species,  are  common  over  all  Siberia,  especially 
in  the  lake  district  north  of  the  Kirghiz  and  Baraba 
steppes  ;  around  Narim  they  assemble  at  different  lakes  : 
they  are  frightened  from  one  to  another,  their  way  being 
netted  in  advance.  They  are  thus  caught  and  then  killed 
by  having  their  necks  bitten  through.  They  are  found  in 
great  numbers  along  the  lower  course  of  all  the  Siberian 
rivers.  Geese  are  found  in  multitudes  as  far  north  as  the 
mouth  of  the  Yenisei.  The  goose  falls  an  easy  prey  in  the 
moulting  season,  when  it  cannot  fly.  Among  other  edible 
birds  are  ptarmigan,  willow-grouse  or  kuropatka,  swans, 
hazelgrouse,  pronounced  as  especially  delicate  eating,  caper- 
cailzie, blackcock,  partridge,  and  heathcock.  In  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Biisk  and  Novo-Nikolaevsk,  woodcock,  hazelhen 
(or  ryabchik),  and  quails  are  common  from  May  to  the  end 
of  August,  and  during  the  threshing  season  5,000  birds, 
mostly  quails,  are  netted.  In  hunting  the  capercailzie  a 
barking  dog  is  used,  which  has  an  irritating  effect  on  the 
bird  ;  the  hunter  then  gets  in  a  shot,  while  its  attention  is 
distracted.    The  same  practice  is  adopted  in  hunting  the  elk. 

Birds  valuable  for  plumage. — Most  valuable  of  all  is  the 
eider  duck,  found  along  the  shores  of  Arctic  Russia,  by 
reason  of  the  down  that  is  obtained  from  it.  But  the  dwellers 
along  the  Pomorski  coast  are  killing  off  these  ducks  for  the  sake 
of  their  flesh  and  pillaging  their  nests  for  eggs.  Grebes  are  of 
economic  value  :  crested  grebes  used  to  be  shot  in  great 
numbers  in  the  Tyukalinsk  district  in  order  to  make  muffs. 
Magpies,  which  are  particularly  frequent  in  the  steppe  district 
west  of  the  Ural,  are  of  value  for  the  feathers,  which  are 


exported.     A   thousand   are   taken   annually   in   the   Biisk 

The  pigeon  for  religious  reasons  is  never  molested  among 
the  Russians.  The  seagull  enjoys  a  like  immunity  for  the 
same  reason  among  the  Samoyedes. 


A.    Aectic  Russian  Fisheries 

Speaking  generally,  there  are  three  main  kinds  of  fishing 
on  the  north  coast  of  Arctic  Russia :  (1)  In  the  open  sea  there 
is  fishing  for  cod,  haddock,  flatfish,  and  wolf-fish.  (2)  Along 
the  coast  there  is  fishing  for  herring  and  navaga.  (3)  Up  the 
rivers  there  is  fishing  for  salmon  and  certain  freshwater  fish, 
including  also  salmon-fishing  along  the  coast.  There  is  some 
hunting  of  sea-mammals  also  along  this  coast. 

Murman  Coast 

Cod. — The  main  fishing  here  is  for  cod  (Gadus  morrhua), 
the  yearly  average  catch  being  10,000,000.  The  fishing-season 
is  from  the  end  of  March  till  the  end  of  August.  As  the  cod 
comes  from  Norway,  the  fishing  begins  on  the  west  coast 
first  and  works  eastward.  It  employs  the  local  inhabitants, 
and  about  3,000  men  from  the  districts  of  Kem  and  Onega. 
The  cod-fishing  is  done  in  small  sailing  boats  (shnyaks),  which 
are  worked  by  four  men  and  a  boy,  who  has  to  roll  up  and 
dry  the  nets  :  this  crew  is  called  an  artel,  the  name  applied 
to  what  corresponds  to  a  trade  union  in  Russia.  The  men 
who  come  from  the  White  Sea  are  exploited  by  procruters  or 
factorists,  who  supply  them  with  their  vessel,  their  tackle  and 
supplies  for  themselves  and  their  families,  in  return  for  which 
they  are  entitled  to  one-third  of  the  catch,  but  the  value  of 
the  goods  supplied  is  deducted  when  accounts  are  squared, 
and  as  the  valuer  both  of  these  goods  and  of  the  fish  caught 
is  the  procruter  himself,  the  fisherman  finds  himself  more  and 
more  in  his  power. 

The  course  of  the  warm  Atlantic  waters  varies,  so  that  the 


voyages  are  regulated  by  the  existing  currents.  Usually 
the  fish  are  at  something  between  seven  and  twenty  miles 
from  the  shore  and  at  a  depth  of  from  120  to  150  fathoms.    One 

I  way  of  fishing  is  with  lines,  180  fathoms  long,  but  this  needs 
a  great  deal  of  muscular  exertion,  and  is  not  adopted  except 
by  poor  fishermen.  The  other  and  more  effective  method  is 
to  use  '  gartlins  '  or  great  lines  (yarns),  which  are  sometimes 
five  miles  long,  made  of  rope  of  the  thickness  of  the  little  finger 
with  finer  ropes  of  from  3  ft.  6  in.  to  4  ft.  8  in.  in  length 
attached  to  it  at  intervals  of  about  2  ft.  4  in.  About  5,000 
hooks  are  attached  to  a  yarns,  and  these  are  baited  with 
capelan  (a  small  oily  fish  like  a  smelt),  or  sand-eels,  sand  worms, 
or  the  inside  of  crabs.  The  yarns  is  lowered  to  the  bottom  of  the 
sea  and  taken  up  again  after  six  hours.  Over  1,200,000  hooks 
are  used  each  year  on  the  Murman  coast. 

Other  fish  caught  on  this  coast  are  turbot  (Rhombus  maximus) , 
haddock  (Gadus  aeglefinus),  coal-fish  or  saith  (Gadus  virens), 
wolf -fish  (Anarrhichas  lupus),  flat-fish  (Pleuronectidae) ,  comber 
or  sea-perch  (Serranus  cabrilla),  eelpout  (Lota  vulgaris). 
The  herring-fishing  on  this  coast  is  practically  disregarded, 
though  herrings  are  numerous.  The  Greenland  shark  is  the 
inveterate  foe  of  the  whale,  and  whales  have  been  captured 
which  show  traces  of  combat  with  this  relentless  enemy. 
Sharks  come  in  pursuit  of  cod,  and  can  be  caught  with  a  line 
on  the  Murman  coast,  but  despite  the  value  of  shark-liver  and 
the  oil  extracted  to  adulterate  cod-liver  oil,  the  fishing  is  only 
casual,  and  not  properly  developed.  From  those  sharks 
whose  skin  is  not  too  rough  is  made  shagreen  for  smoothing 
or  polishing  wood.  The  shark  is  never  eaten,  on  the  ground 
that  it  is  a  great  eater  of  human  flesh  itself  ;  and  it  is  an 
enemy  to  the  fisherman,  because  it  despoils  his  yarns.  At 
certain  places  on  the  west  coast  of  the  Murman  are  fat -melting 
works  for  the  fat  of  sharks  and  stock-fish. 

Prices  of  fish. — The  price  per  pud  of  fish  on  the  Murman 
in  the  last  decade  of  the  nineteenth  century  was  as  follows  : 
cod  lOd.  to  2s.  Id.,  haddock  2\d.  to  10d.,  wolf-fish  3fd.  to  8fd., 
coal-fish  2\d.  to  l\d.y  turbot  2s.  3d.  to  2s.  §d.    The  prices  for 


fish  products  were  cod-liver  Is.  3d.  to  2s.  Qd.,  shark-liver, 
haddock-liver,  and  coal-fish-liver  10c?.  to  Is.  5|cZ.  Another 
fish  product  is  the  fish-guano  made  of  the  discarded  portions 
of  fish,  especially  torn  and  dried  fish-heads.  The  total  value 
of  the  Murman  fishery  in  1897  was  £48,158. 

Winter  employment  of  fishermen. — An  auxiliary  trade  for  the 
fisherman  to  carry  on  during  winter  is  carpentering,  e.  g.  they 
manufacture  the  wooden  packing-cases  in  which  the  fish  are 
exported,  and  find  it  very  remunerative. 

There  are  government  salt  depots  along  this  coast. 

White  Sea 

The  main  fishing  is  for  salmon,  herring,  and  navaga,  which 
is  done  in  home  waters,  and  is  more  especially  the  work  of 
the  old  men,  women,  and  children,  while  the  more  enterprising 
and  active  men  do  deep-sea  fishing  for  cod  or  go  seal-hunting, 
starting  out  for  these  employments  early  in  the  spring. 

Salmon. — The  salmon-fishing  lasts  from  the  middle  of  May 
till  the  beginning  of  November,  but  the  best  salmon  are 
caught  in  August  and  September  when  the  salmon  come  up 
the  rivers  to  spawn.  The  fishing  is  done  at  the  estuaries  of 
the  bigger  rivers  by  means  of  dragnets,  trammel-nets,  &c. 
Higher  up  the  rivers  it  is  done  by  zahots  or  weir  traps  :  close 
to  Kem  is  a  zabor  (a  sort  of  fence  trap)  made  of  logs  embedded 
in  the  bottom,  in  which  a  large  net  (morda)  is  inserted.  Salmon 
of  large  size  (about  22  lb.)  are  thus  caught.  The  spring-catch 
is  for  local  consumption,  the  fish  caught  early  in  the  year 
having  less  taste  than  the  others  ;  the  autumn  catch  is  sold 
to  dealers. 

Herring  are  caught  along  the  Pomorski  coast  mostly  from 
the  end  of  June  till  October,  but  the  fishing  continues  in 
winter.  To  the  north-west  of  Kem  the  best  fisheries  are  Kan- 
dalaksha, Keret,  Kovda,  and  Knyaz  Bay,  from  which  about 
25,000,000  fish  are  obtained  in  the  year.  The  fish  are  salted 
and  shipped  to  Arkhangel  in  barrels  of  27  lbs.,  but  these  are 
so  badly  put  together  that  the  fish  deteriorates  and  only 
realizes  a  low  price.     To  the  south-east  of  Kem  the  principal 


fisheries  are  Soroka,  Shizhnaya  (from  each  of  which  the  annual 
catch  is  about  5,000,000),  Sukhona  volok  (with  an  annual  catch 
of  2,000,000),  Virma  with  an  annual  catch  of  1,500,000),  and 
Sumski  (with  an  annual  catch  of  1,000,000).  The  herring  is 
caught  with  poke-nets,  sweep  or  drag-nets,  &c.  The  whole 
catch  is  sold  on  the  spot  to  dealers,  the  fish  being  either  frozen 
or  smoked.  The  usual  price  is  Is.  to  3s.  per  1,000.  A  fish 
loses  its  value  if  it  is  frozen  and  then  salted  ;  so  the  winter- 
catch  is  eaten  fresh.  In  the  neighbourhood  of  Sumski  there 
are  several  smoke-drying  sheds,  in  which  5,000,000  herrings 
are  annually  smoked. 

Navaga. — The  navaga  (Gadus  navaga)  is  a  fish  allied  to  the 
cod.  The  season  for  fishing  is  from  November  to  January, 
and  it  is  done  through  holes  in  the  ice.  It  is  so  easy  that  it 
is  an  occupation  usually  left  to  the  children.  The  navaga  is 
caught  chiefly  by  the  inhabitants  of  Kolezhma,  Sumski,  Shuya, 
and  Nyukhcha.  Those  caught  at  the  first  two  are  about  twice 
the  size  of  those  caught  at  Shuya,  and  average  about  1  lb. 
14  oz.  A  load  of  good  navaga,  consisting  of  about  4,000,  costs 
from  16s.  to  £2.  In  February  the  navaga,  having  spawned, 
becomes  lank  and  tasteless  :   in  March  it  migrates. 

Other  White  Sea  fish  are  cod,  flat-fish,  wolf-fish,  gwyniad 
(Coregonus  lavaretus),  but  these  are  not  an  object  of  export- 
trade,  but  are  only  for  local  consumption.  There  are  two  fish 
also,  the  lumpsucker  (Gyclopterus  lumpus)  and  father  lasher 
(Cottus  scorpius),  which  are  not  eaten  by  the  inhabitants, 
but  dried  and  given  as  food  to  the  cattle. 

The  Karelians,  especially  at  Pongamskaya  and  Keret,  hunt 
marine  animals. 

Gulf  of  Mezen  to  Kara  Sea 

The  fishing  along  this  coast  is  of  much  less  importance. 
The  industry  is  almost  entirely  in  the  hands  of  the  Samoyedes. 
Owing  to  the  absence  of  markets  they  deliver  their  catch  to 
monopolists.  The  Russian  dealers  supply  tackle,  &c.  to  the 
natives,  whom  they  organize  in  small  groups  on  a  system  that 
closely  resembles  that  of  the  procruters  with  the  Pomors. 


Marine  animals  are  hunted,  when  they  are  brought  down  on 
floating  ice  by  the  northerly  winds  :  among  these  are  the 
walrus,  Greenland  seal,  sea-hare  (Phoca  leporina),  and  white 
whale  (Delphinapterus  leucas).  The  seal  blubber  is  sent  to 
Arkhangel,  thence  to  Russian  and  foreign  markets.  Along  the 
Gulf  of  Mezen  during  August  and  September  there  is  fishing 
for  salmon  and  nyelma,  and  in  November  and  December  for 
navaga.  The  waters  round  Kanin  Peninsula  and  Kolguev 
Island  were  for  a  long  time  untouched,  despite  their  vast 
supply  of  cod  and  flat-fish,  but  lately  very  large  plaice  have 
been  caught  by  British  trawlers  and  other  foreign  boats. 
About  a  hundred  steam  trawlers  in  these  waters  make  an 
aggregate  haul  of  40,000  tons,  chiefly  plaice. 

Lake  and  River  Fish 

In  1897  there  were  caught  1,192  tons  of  lake  and  river 
fish,  valued  at  £13,112.  The  chief  districts  in  which  they 
were  caught  were  Pechora,  Kem,  and  Kola,  the  best  salmon 
being  found  in  the  Northern  Dvina,  Onega,  Mezen,  Pechora, 
and  Varzuga.  In  Lake  Imandra  in  the  Kola  Peninsula 
Engelhard  caught  salmon,  grayling  (Coregonus  thymallus), 
gwyniad,  trout,  and  salmon-trout.  The  nyelma  (Coregonus 
leucichthys),  a  salmon  with  white  flesh,  is  found  in  these  lakes 
and  rivers. 

In  the  Pechora  are  found  the  peliad  (Coregonus  peled), 
the  omul  (C.  omul),  a  salmon  with  white  flesh,  of  primary 
importance  farther  east,  and  the  chir  (C.  nasutus).  The 
Coregonus  is  the  characteristic  salmon  of  the  Arctic  Ocean, 
as  the  Oncorhynchus  is  of  the  Pacific.  In  the  Dvina  is  the 
sterlet  (Acipenser  ruthenus),  a  smaller  member  of  the  sturgeon 
tribe  and  the  one  which  penetrates  highest  up  the  rivers. 

B.    Western  Siberian  Fisheries 
The  Ob  Basin 
The  basin  of  the  Ob    constitutes    the   whole  of  western 
Siberia,  and  all  the  fishing  centres  are  either  along  its  waters 



or  along  those  of  its  confluents  or  the  lakes  from  which  its 
waters  are  fed.  The  chief  are  on  the  lower  waters  of  the  Ob 
and  Irtish,  on  Lake  Zaisan  and  the  upper  Irtish,  and  on  Lake 
Chani  near  Kainsk,  the  fishery  of  which  is  stimulated  by  the 
immediate  contiguity  of  the  Siberian  Railway.  There  are  other 
places  where  there  is  fishing,  as  in  Lake  Marka-Kul  and  the 
akes  of   the  Kirghiz  steppes,  but  in  these  it  is  a  secondary 

d  subordinate  occupation  of  the  inhabitants.  In  the  Ob 
2  species  of  fish  are  known,  the  most  abundant  families  being 
the  Cyprinidae  with  15  species,  and  the  Salmonidae  with  12 ; 
among  others  are  three  species  of  sturgeon  (the  sterlet,  the 
sturio,  and  the  ossetr),  two  of  perch,  two  of  cod,  and  pike  is 
extraordinarily  abundant.  There  are  but  slight  differences 
between  the  fish  of  the  Ob  and  the  Irtish. 

Regions  of  the  Ob  basin. — Varpakhov  divides  the  Ob  basin 
into  three  regions — lower,  middle,  and  upper — differentiated 
to  some  extent  by  their  species  of  fish. 

The  first  region  includes  the  Ob  estuary  and  extends  as  far 
as  Berezov.  The  characteristic  conditions  of  the  region  are 
masses  of  water  with  a  very  slow  current  or  stationary,  and 
abundance  of  '  sands  ',  i.  e.  stretches  of  clear  water  with  sandy 
or  rocky  bottoms.  The  chief  fish  of  this  part  are  chub,  navaga, 
seld  {C.  merki),  a  member  of  the  salmon  tribe  with  white  flesh, 
salmon,  pidchian  (or  sig),  chir,  muksun,  a  broad  fish  with  large 
bright  scales  and  small  head,  sturgeon,  pike,  roach,  gremille, 
peliad,  and  eelpout,  some  of  these  being  common  to  the  whole 

The  second  region  extends  from  Berezov  to  about  lat.  54°  N., 
up  both  the  Ob  and  the  Irtish  and  their  tributaries,  coinciding 
approximately  with  the  wooded  territory.  The  type  of  fish 
found  especially  in  this  region  demonstrates  the  abundance 
of  lake  and  marsh,  e.g.  crucian  carp,  tench,  sterlet,  and  other 
fish.  Salmon  and  muksun  are  found  in  great  numbers  here 
as  well. 

In  the  third  or  upper  region  which  extends  from  lat.  54°  N.  to 
the  sources  of  the  Ob  and  its  confluents  the  characteristic  fish 
include  trout,  grayling,  seld,  Gobio  fluviatilis .  and  taimen(Salmo 

E  2 


fluviatilis)  which  gives  its  name  to  many  villages.  The  nyelma, 
a  very  popular  fish  in  Siberia,  is  the  commonest  in  the 
whole  river.  Of  course  there  are  no  very  marked  boundaries 
between  these  three  zones  :  sometimes,  for  instance,  sterlet, 
which  is  characteristic  of  the  central  region,  descends  to  the 
Ob  estuary,  or  grayling,  a  typical  fish  of  the  mountain  streams, 
is  found  in  the  tributaries  of  the  lower  Ob.  Some  fish  may 
be  regarded  as  local,  which  always  inhabit  the  river,  while 
others,  which  are  migrants,  visit  it  from  the  Gulf  of  Ob  or  cross 
from  one  locality  to  another. 

Migration  of  fish. — The  movement  of  great  masses  of  fish 
takes  place  everywhere  after  the  ice  breaks,  especially  about 
the  middle  of  May.  These  movements  do  not  take  place 
simultaneously  with  the  various  kinds  of  fish.  The  first 
arrival  is  the  peliad,  followed  in  order  by  the  muksun,  the 
nyelma,  the  pidchian,  the  chir,  the  sturgeon,  the  eelpout,  and 
last  of  all  the  seld.  They  ascend  slowly,  making  about  40  miles 
a  day.  Many  of  them  (the  muksun,  nyelma,  and  peliad) 
make  for  the  sori  (shallow  backwaters  which  dry  up  in  hot 
weather),  and  then  when  in  early  autumn  there  is  later  abun- 
dance of  water  they  move  up  the  river  and  spawn  in  its 
higher  waters  and  in  those  of  its  upper  tributaries.  Others, 
such  as  the  pidchian  and  chir,  spawn  in  the  lower  Ob,  and 
the  seld  only  comes  into  the  lower  Ob  and  its  tributaries. 
The  sterlet  spawns  in  flooded  meadows.  The  sturgeon  goes 
up  to  the  upper  Ob  and  spawns  on  the  way  :  in  the  autumn 
some  sturgeons  remain  in  the  river,  but  more  go  down  to  the 
sea  where  they  are  caught  in  great  numbers  by  the  natives 
in  the  Gulf  of  Taz.  Sometimes  the  grampus  or  killer- whale 
arrives  in  the  lower  Ob  :  its  appearance  is  the  signal  for  the 
fish  to  leave  the  river  and  go  up  the  backwaters,  where  an 
occasional  grampus  will  follow  them. 

The  Zamor. — There  is  one  special  phenomenon  of  the 
Ob  that  deserves  attention,  as  it  has  a  great  influence  upon 
the  fishing.  It  is  called  the  dur  or  zamor,  or  '  the  dying  of  the 
water ' .  In  December  and  January  the  accumulation  of 
protoxide  of  iron  brought  down  by  the  tributaries  of  the  lower 


Ob  that  flow  through  tundra  and  marsh,  coming  over  the  lower 
surface  of  the  ice,  proves  fatal  to  the  existence  of  all  living 
things.  It  gives  the  water  an  unpleasant  taste  and  smell. 
The  process  goes  on  unequally,  first  in  the  shallow  parts,  and 
reaches  from  the  middle  of  the  stream  to  the  shores.  In 
rapid  and  deep  places  the  zamor  does  not  exist,  and  the  fish 
do  not  die.  The  instinct  of  the  fish  makes  them  escape  before 
the  zamor  can  destroy  them.  Pike,  roach,  and  nalim  go  into 
tributaries  where  the  waters  are  not  so  corrupted,  sturgeon 
and  sterlet  to  the  mouth  of  the  Ob,  and  some  of  the  sterlet 
up  the  Irtish.  The  zamor  gradually  extends  up  and  down  the 
river,  and  by  the  end  of  the  winter  the  central  and  lower 
regions  of  the  Ob  are  lifeless.  On  the  Irtish  this  phenomenon 
is  found  up  to  the  village  of  Semeika.  The  effect  upon  the 
fishing  is  obvious  ;  the  great  mass-movements  of  the  fish 
towards  the  sea  are  obstructed  by  fish-dams.  Instinct  forbids 
retreat  up  stream,  and  multitudes  of  fish  are  accordingly 

Methods  of  capture. — The  favourite  instrument  of  capture 
is  called  gimga.  It  is  like  the  morda  of  European  Russia,  but 
larger.  It  is  made  of  long  thin  twigs,  on  a  substructure, 
which  costs  at  least  £100  to  erect,  so  that  it  is  a  method 
only  within  the  reach  of  those  who  are  possessed  of  capital. 
The  fish  trying  to  escape  the  massive  obstructions  come  to 
the  gaps  where  the  gimga  is  set,  and  fall  ready  victims.  The 
gimga  is  so  close-woven  that  even  quite  small  fish  are  caught 
by  it.  The  number  of  gimgas  at  various  points  of  the  river 
differs  in  accordance  with  the  breadth  from  40  to  100.  The 
part  where  the  majority  of  them  is  set  is  between  Berezov 
and  Obdorsk ;  500,000  fish  are  sometimes  caught  in  one  day. 
In  the  lower  course  of  the  Irtish  and  in  the  Ob  near  its  estuary 
instead  of  gimgas,  there  are  set  with  the  obstructions  cherdaks  : 
these  are  four-cornered  sacks  made  of  netting,  attached  to 
long  poles  by  means  of  which  they  are  lowered  and  raised. 
These  methods  are  employed  in  the  summer  fishing  as  well  as 
in  winter,  and  on  a  smaller  scale  by  local  fishermen  when  the  fish 
are  leaving  the  sori.    A  good  deal  of  fishing  is  done  with  nets : 


big  nets  4,200  ft.  long  and  70  ft.  high,  or  half -nets  more  simply 
constructed  and  of  smaller  dimensions.  These  are  employed 
generally  on  the  '  sands  \  In  the  neighbourhood  of  Tobolsk 
there  are  120  of  these  '  sands  '.  The  big  traders  employ  the 
first  kind,  the  half -nets  being  used  by  those  of  humbler  means. 
A  large  amount  of  ice-fishing  is  done  especially  in  the  reaches  of 
the  Irtish  between  Tobolsk  and  Semeika  (where  the  zamor 
stops).  The  ice  is  divided  into  sections,  and  snares  armed 
with  hooks  are  let  into  the  water  through  the  holes  that  are 
made  in  it.  In  some  places  800,000  hooks  are  let  down,  but 
the  catch  is  not  great,  varying  from  ten  to  four  hundred  puds. 
The  fishing  industry.— About  10,000  men  take  part  in  the 
fishing  industry  of  the  Ob.  The  poorest  are  the  impoverished 
Samoyedes  and  Ostyaks,  men  who  have  lost  their  reindeer 
and  taken  to  fishing  :  an  epidemic  among  the  reindeer  always 
adds  to  the  number  of  fishermen.  But,  with  the  exception 
of  the  Reindeer  Samoyedes  and  a  few  fur-hunting  Ostyaks. 
all  the  inhabitants  of  the  uncultivated  north  along  the  Ob  are 
engaged  in  fishing.  The  great  centre  of  the  industry  is  Tobolsk 
on  the  Irtish,  which  is  the  head-quarters  of  the  six  big  fishing 
firms  that  erect  the  largest  dams.  Every  spring,  as  soon  as 
the  ice  clears,  the  summer  expedition  proceeds  down  the  river 
from  Tobolsk.  They  give  pay  on  an  average  of  about  30  roubles 
a  month  and  provide  certain  supplies  :  at  the  beginning  of 
October  they  return  to  Tobolsk.  About  1,000,000  puds 
(15,000  tons)  are  taken  annually,  of  the  value  of  between 
£300,000  and  £400,000.  50,000  puds  are  taken  annually  to 
Irbit  fair  in  February  from  the  middle  Ob.  Farther  north 
the  winter  catch  is  kept  till  the  summer  and  sold  to  the  summer- 
fishing  expeditions.  Fish  are  transported  by  sledge,  a  weight 
of  about  20  puds  to  each  sledge,  the  transport  industry  necessi- 
tating the  existence  of  a  race  of  winter-dwellers  along  the  Ob. 
Sterlets  are  caught  in  winter  near  Tobolsk,  fetching  5-8 
roubles  the  pud  in  that  city.  Good  sturgeon  are  caught  on 
the  river,  weighing  8  puds  and  containing  half  a  pud  of  caviar. 
The  sturgeons  of  the  Ob  are  much  bigger  than  those  of  the 
Irtish.    Pike  are  sometimes  so  numerous  on  the  Ob  that  they 


are  sold  for  only  12  kopeks,  but  this  is  not  surprising  as  a 
company  of  50  or  60  can  take  in  one  season  up  to  7,000  puds. 

1350,000  puds  of  fish  are  carried  annually  on  the  Siberian  Rail- 
way, 200,000  on  the  Perm-Tyumen  Railway. 
Centres  of  fishing  industry. — Besides  on  the  Irtish  below 
Tobolsk,  and  the  Ob  below  the  mouth  of  the  Tom,  fishing  is 
one  of  the  chief  occupations  of  the  population  along  the  Rivers 
Om,  Tom,  and  Chulim,  and  higher  up  it  is  of  importance  to 
a.  large  number  of  inhabitants  of  the  Altai  district,  not  only 
on  the  Ob  between  Barnaul  and  Biisk,  but  on  tributaries  like 
the  Kondom  in  the  Kuznetsk  district.  No  statistics  are 
furnished,  but  there  is  a  generally  prevalent  local  belief  that 
the  fish  are  on  the  decrease.  On  the  Ob  itself  it  has  been 
calculated  that  the  fish  exported  from  the  different  regions 
are  as  follows  :  Obdorsk  300,000  puds,  Berezov  150,000, 
Samarovskoe  75,000,  Surgut  90,000,  Narim  90,000. 

Fish  products. — Several  canning  factories  have  been 
erected.  Caviar  is  obtained  from  the  roe,  and  isinglass  from 
the  bladder  of  the  sturgeon.  Besides  these  two  important 
products,  the  sturgeon  is  of  importance  for  its  fat,  dried 
sturgeon  being  fatter  than  smoked  salmon,  and  for  its  spinal 
cord,  which  is  eaten  raw  or  else  dried  and  cut  into  small 
pieces  and  used  for  baked  fishcakes  with  fish  inside  and  dough 
outside,  while  it  furnishes  a  constituent  in  selanka,  a  soup 
which  is  the  Russian  national  dish.  Poziom  is  prepared  from 
sterlet,  sirok,  and  muksun:  the  fish  is  split  open,  freed  from 
bones,  salted,  dried  in  the  air  and  slightly  smoked.  In  summer 
the  fish  taken  from  the  Ob  are  dried  and  salted,  in  winter 
they  are  frozen. 

Lake  fisheries  in   Western  Siberia 

Lake  Zaisan  is  the  centre  of  a  considerable  fishing  industry, 
partly  in  the  hands  of  Cossacks,  partly  in  the  hands  of  Kirghiz. 
Carp,  trout,  nyelma,  and  sterlet  are  found,  but  roach  and 
perch  are  more  numerous.  The  fishing  begins  at  the  end  of 
April  and  continues  till  the  end  of  August.  The  height  of  the 
fishing  season  is  June,  after  which  the  fish  begin  to  go  down 


the  Irtish.  Pavlodar  on  the  Irtish  is  in  a  district  where  fishing 
is  very  important. 

Lake  Chani. — This  lake  has  the  great  advantage  of  being 
served  by  the  Siberian  Railway.  About  100,000  puds  arc 
exported  annually.    The  principal  fish  are  pike  and  crucian. 

The  River  Ural  is  practically  outside  the  sphere  of  this 
book,  but  is  important  for  its  protected  fishery,  especially 
for  the  sturgeon. 

C.    Eastern  Siberian  Fisheries 

The  principal  fisheries  in  eastern  Siberia  are  the  lower 
Yenisei ;  Lake  Baikal  and  the  rivers  that  flow  into  it ;  the 
Lena  and  other  rivers  of  the  Yakutsk  Government ;  the 
Okhotsk  and  Kamchatka  fisheries  of  the  Pacific  ;  the  Amur 
and  its  estuary ;  and  the  coast  of  the  Ussuri  Province  (south- 
west fishery). 

The  Yenisei  Basin 

As  an  important  industry  the  fishing  of  the  Yenisei  is 
practically  concentrated  in  its  lower  waters.  The  fish  most 
sought  in  these  waters  are  the  sturgeon,  the  sterlet,  the 
nyelma,  the  omul,  the  muksun,  the  seld,  the  gwyniad,  the 
chir,  and  the  sig.  Most  of  these  make  long  migrations  up  and 
down  the  river  to  spawn  ;  many  sturgeons  stay  in  the  deep 
pools  of  the  river,  at  any  rate  during  the  winter ;  they  begin 
to  go  up  the  Yenisei  when  the  ice  melts,  at  the  end  of  May 
or  the  beginning  of  June.  A  good  many  fish  stay  in  the  estuary 
throughout  the  winter  ;  some  fish,  like  the  sterlet  and  chir, 
keep  to  the  river  all  the  year,  and  are  never  found  at  its 
mouth.  Altogether,  about  fifteen  varieties  are  caught  for 
the  purposes  of  trade,  including  the  sturgeon,  sterlet,  muksun, 
nyelma,  and  omul.  So  that  the  caviar  may  retain  its  quality, 
the  sturgeon  is  often  kept  alive  in  floating  fish-tanks ;  it  is 
said  that  the  omul  which  migrate  are  fatter  than  those 
which  stay  in  the  estuary  all  the  year. 

The  fishing  is  done  partly  by  Yenisei-Samoyedes,  Yuraks, 
and  some  Dolgans,  Tungus,  and  Ostyaks,  partly  by  non- 
resident Russians.     The  work  of  the  natives  is  exploited  by 


Russian  buyers,  who,  as  a  rule,  do  not  give  money,  but  goods 
on  credit,  a  system  which  leads  the  fisherman  into  perpetual 
debt.  The  Russians  who  live  along  the  river  fall  victims  to  it 
as  well  as  the  natives.  The  natives,  who  own  fishing-places, 
usually  let  them  cheap  and  act  as  fishermen.  Primitive 
methods  are  employed  in  preparing  the  fish,  with  little  regard 
for  cleanliness,  so  that  a  rotten  smell  is  a  constant  accompani- 
ment of  fish  from  the  Turukhansk  district ;  the  preparation  of 
caviar  is  equally  primitive. 

Every  year,  at  the  beginning  of  June,  boats  containing  the 
necessities  for  the  season  are  rowed  or  towed  down  the 
river,  reaching  Dudinka  in  about  three  or  four  weeks, 
dropping  fishermen  and  supplies  at  the  river-stations  as 
they  go.  The  traders  buy  some  of  the  natives'  winter  catch, 
and  reach  Yeniseisk  again  at  the  beginning  of  August.  After 
ten  days  they  start  on  their  second  voyage,  and  about  the 
beginning  of  October  the  expedition  is  back  again  at  Yeniseisk 
with  the  men  and  the  summer  catch.  The  first  voyage  only 
brings  back  strongly  salted  fish,  the  second  brings  back  what 
is  less  strongly  salted  ;  some  of  it  is  dried.  What  they  cannot 
carry  is  often  brought  by  sledge  to  Krasnoyarsk  during  the 
winter.  For  salting,  as  on  the  Ob,  steppe  salt  is  used  ;  the 
proportion  is  usually  about  180  lb.  of  salt  to  700  lb.  of  fish. 

In  the  rest  of  the  Yeniseisk  Government  the  fish  trade 
only  amounts  to  about  £5,000  a  year.  About  3,000  puds 
reach  Minusinsk  from  the  upper  Yenisei.  Lake  Bozhe,  in 
the  Achinsk  region,  also  produces  a  certain  amount  of  fish. 
But  most  of  the  fishing  is  only  for  local  consumption. 

The  fishing  in  the  Yenisei  is  done  principally  by  seines, 
with,  as  a  rule,  five  men  to  a  net.  The  big  employers  of 
labour  usually  make  combinations  of  two  or  three,  and  have 
a  tug  ;  they  completely  control  the  smaller  workers.  The 
rich  men  have  nets  of  nearly  20,000  ft.  in  length,  but  the 
natives  have  to  be  content  with  much  smaller  nets.  Besides 
nets,  there  are  also  dams  of  interlaced  branches  stretched 
across  the  river.  In  the  winter  some  fish,  especially  sturgeon, 
omul,  and  mukswi,  are  caught  under  the  ice.     Hunger  and 


curiosity  make  them  fall  at  this  period  ready  victims  to 
any  bait. 

Absence  of  good  communications  has  greatly  restricted  the 
fish-industry  of  the  Yenisei.  There  is  no  canning,  and  the 
attempt  to  send  frozen  fish  by  rail  to  Russia  has  been  a  failure, 
despite  the  demand  for  such  supplies.  The  present  amount 
exported  south  annually  is  about  175,000  puds,  including 
about  155,000  puds  of  summer-salted  fish  and  20,000  puds 
of  winter-salted  fish,  but  the  market  is  almost  entirely  confined 
to  the  Yeniseisk  Government,  with  Yeniseisk  and,  to  a  lesser 
extent,  Krasnoyarsk  as  centres  of  the  trade,  though  a  few  of 
the  fish  from  this  region  go  as  far  as  Tomsk  and  Irkutsk.  The 
best  fish  are  found  a  long  way  north,  and  it  is  only  possible 
to  make  one  voyage  within  the  year  for  the  summer  catch. 

About  175,000  puds  are  caught  in  the  Yenisei  and  the 
shallow  tundra  lakes  by  the  local  population  and  used  for  the 
needs  of  themselves  and  their  dogs.  The  annual  value  of 
the  Yenisei  fisheries,  including  export  fish,  is  about  £80,000. 

Lake  Baikal 

The  Baikal  fishing-region  includes  Lake  Baikal  itself,  the 
lower  reaches  of  the  rivers  that  feed  it,  especially  the  Barguzin, 
the  Selenga,  and  the  Upper  Angara,  and  the  lagoon-like 
lakes  along  the  shores  of  Lake  Baikal,  termed  sori.  The 
principal  fish  of  these  waters  are  the  sturgeon  (which  is  found 
in  the  Lower  Angara  and  Lake  Baikal,  and  fished  for  in  the 
latter  during  the  winter  through  the  ice),  the  omul,  the  chir, 
the  gwiniad,  the  grayling,  the  roach,  the  crucian,  and  the 
burbot.  There  is  also  a  mysterious  fish,  the  golomyanka 
{Comephorus  baicalensis),  which  lives  only  in  the  profoundest 
depths  of  this  lake,  and  is  about  10£  ins.  long.  In  Lake 
Baikal  there  is  further  a  species  of  seal  (Phoca  baicalensis).  In 
other  parts  of  the  Transbaikal  Government  are  found,  besides 
most  of  the  fish  of  Lake  Baikal,  pike,  carp,  tench,  and  silurus. 
In  Lake  Frolikha,  near  the  north  extremity  of  Lake  Baikal 
and  communicating  with  it  by  a  river  of  the  same  name,  is 
a  special  kind  of  trout,  not  known  elsewhere  (Salmo  erythrcas). 


The  main  fishing  in  the  Baikal  fisheries  is  for  the  omul, 
of  which  500,000  are  taken  yearly  of  the  value  of  about 
£20,000.  During  the  winter  the  omul  keeps  in  the  deepest 
waters  of  the  lake  ;  in  the  spring  it  begins  to  approach  the 
shores  and  enter  the  small  inlets  along  them;  towards 
September  it  moves  in  masses  to  the  estuaries,  up  which  it 
goes  to  spawn  ;  it  ascends  the  Upper  Angara  for  more  than 
60  miles  :  at  this  period  the  '  running-catch  '  is  made.  Later, 
when  it  has  spawned,  it  goes  back  to  the  lake,  and  the 
'  swimming-catch  '  takes  place.  When  the  lake  is  frozen, 
it  is  caught  under  the  ice  by  nets  let  down  to  a  depth  of  100 
to  150  fathoms.  The  winter  catch  is  put  on  the  market 
frozen,  the  summer  and  autumn  catch  salted. 

The  implements  for  taking  fish  in  Lake  Baikal  greatly 
vary,  nets  and  '  bagnets  '  being  used  where  the  fishing  is  on 
a  large  scale.  Bagnetting  is  carried  out  by  small  companies  ; 
there  are  also  net  associations,  where  each  member  supplies 
a  settled  number  of  fishing-nets  and  ropes. 

Lena,  and  Kolima 

The  Lena  and  Kolima  region  is  of  very  little  industrial 
importance  owing  to  the  absence  of  means  of  communication, 
but  none  the  less  a  great  deal  of  fishing  goes  on  to  satisfy  the 
needs  of  the  inhabitants.  For  most  of  them  fish  is  the  staple 
food,  and  has  the  same  importance  that  grain  has  for  the 
inhabitants  of  agricultural  districts.  The  natives  eat  chiefly 
small  fish.  Thus  94  per  cent,  of  the  inhabitants  of  the 
Yakutsk  district  are  engaged  in  fishing,  and  it  is  the  occupa- 
tion of  92  per  cent,  in  the  Kolima  district,  and  87  per  cent,  in 
the  Verkhoyansk  district,  and  of  68  per  cent,  in  the  Olekminsk 
district.  It  is  possible  that  the  Kolima  fishers  will  find  an 
outside  market  for  their  fish,  as  since  1911  there  has  been 
regular  steamer  communication  with  Vladivostok.  The 
amount  of  the  catch  of  the  district,  including  the  adjoin- 
ing lakes,  is  estimated  at  from  4,000  to  5,600  puds.  At 
present  the  only  market  for  the  Lena  fishery  is  the  mining 


The  chief  fish  are  sturgeon,  sterlet,  mukswi,  nydma, 
gwyniad,  chir,  bass,  common  gremille,  dace,  pike,  and  burbot. 
A  great  number  of  herrings  are  found  in  the  estuaries  of  both 
the  Lena  and  the  Kolima.  Crucian  carp  is  specially  common. 
Fishing  is  most  vigorous  on  the  lower  reaches  of  both  rivers. 
About  25,000  puds  are  exported  annually  by  steamer  from 
Bulun  up  the  Lena  to  Yakutsk.  The  Aldan,  with  its  tributary, 
the  Maya,  is  also  prolific  in  fish.  The  fishing  on  the  Kolima  is 
vigorous,  so  far  as  the  conditions  allow,  but  the  river  is 
frozen  for  268  days  in  the  year.  The  fishing  on  that  river 
is  mostly  done  by  companies,  but,  even  though  clubbing  to- 
gether, they  have  very  insufficient  implements.  At  ninety-nine 
fishing-stations  along  its  lower  waters  there  were  only  fifteen 
entire  nets  in  all,  the  remaining  fishermen  contenting  them- 
selves with  broken  parts.  The  methods  of  preparation  are 
as  inadequate  as  the  fishing-tackle  ;  caviar  is  hardly  prepared, 
and  is  often  thrown  away,  as  the  natives  do  not  eat  it. 
Frozen  fish  is  frequently  eaten  like  cheese,  cut  into  thin  slices 
and  called  stroganin.  The  sturgeons  are  very  large,  often 
weighing  as  much  as  200  lb.  The  coast  dwellers  hunt  for 
seals,  especially  in  March  and  April. 

Okhotsk- Kamclbatka 

This  district  in  the  Pacific  extends  from  Udskaya  Bay, 
where  the  River  Uda  flows  into  the  sea  (in  lat.  55°  N.)  to  the 
mouth  of  the  River  Anadir  (in  lat.  65°  N.),  taking  in  the  coasts 
of  the  peninsula  of  Kamchatka  and  of  the  Commander  Islands. 
It  is  divided  into  a  western  and  an  eastern  section  by  Cape 
Lopatka,  the  southern  point  of  Kamchatka. 

In  the  Pacific  the  conditions  of  the  industry  and  the  species 
of  fish  are  entirely  changed.  Instead  of  a  Russian  monopoly 
there  is  keen  competition  with  Japan.  In  fact  the  Japanese 
had  got  the  fishing  trade  almost  entirely  into  their  hands, 
before  the  Fishing  Convention  was  made  in  1907,  which  gave 
them  free  rights  of  fishing,  except  in  certain  specified  bays  and 
river  mouths.  Even  now  a  great  deal  of  fishing  is  under 
Japanese   control,   and   the   market   for   the   fish  is   largely 


Japanese.  In  the  western  section  only  one  bay  (Penzhina 
Bay)  is  excluded  from  the  convention  ;  in  the  1,850  miles  of 
coast  in  the  eastern  section  sixteen  bays  and  gulfs  are  excluded, 
but  yet  in  only  one  of  these  (Avacha  Bay)  is  the  industry 
carried  on  by  Russian  enterprise.  Several  areas  have  been 
closed  to  all  fishing  since  1913  in  order  to  conserve  the  fisheries. 
These  include  the  mouths  of  the  Ulya,  Urak,  Okhota,  Kukhtui, 
Kola,  Tau,  Yana,  Arman,  Ola,  Yama,  Takhyama,  Nayakhan, 
Gizhiga,  Tigil,  Bolshaya,  Osernaya,  Kamchatka  and  other 

The  fish  of  the  Pacific  differ  largely  from  those  of  the 
Arctic  Ocean  and  of  the  rivers  that  flow  into  it.  The  charac- 
teristic Salmonidae  are  not  Coregoni,  but  Oncorhynchi.  The 
principal  salmons  of  the  Pacific  that  ascend  the  rivers  that 
flow  into  it  are  six  in  number.  (1)  The  chavucha  (S.  orientalis), 
confined  to  Kamchatka  and  the  Sea  of  Okhotsk,  the  largest  of  the 
tribe,  but  a  fish  that  has  not  yet  established  itself  in  European 
markets  ;  it  is  a  fine  fish  with  good  flavour,  averages  15  to  20 
lb.,  and  is  often  six  feet  long.  It  supplies  the  best  caviar, 
experiments  showing  that  the  best  comes  from  fish  over 
four  years  old.  (2)  The  goltsi  (8.  collaris),  a  kind  of  sea  trout, 
ascends  the  rivers  to  the  head  waters,  and  returns  in  the 
following  spring.  (3)  The  keta  (Oncorhynchus  lagocephalus)  or 
dog-salmon,  is  the  commonest  of  all  in  these  waters,  except  in 
south  Kamchatka  (where  the  chavucha  is  most  prevalent)  ; 
it  weighs  nine  or  more  pounds  ;  a  man  can  catch  1,000  in  a  day. 
It  is  of  inestimable  importance  to  the  natives  ;  its  skin  pro- 
vides them  with  sails,  dress,  and  boots  ;  it  is  preserved  in 
various  manners,  and  forms  the  chief  food  of  the  inhabitants 
of  Primorsk  ;  its  caviar,  which  is  of  a  pale  red  colour,  is 
now  regarded  as  of  value,  though  previously  it  was  thrown 
away.  The  keta  is  a  very  timorous  fish  and  avoids  clear  water : 
it  comes  in  great  shoals.  (4)  The  gorbusha  (O.  proteus),  the 
humpbacked  or  Alaskan  pink  salmon,  is  less  choice  :  it  weighs 
from  four  to  eight  pounds,  or  occasionally  even  ten.  It  is 
found  in  all  the  rivers.  (5)  The  krasnaya  (O.  lycoodon)  or  red 
salmon  is  smaller  than  the  chavucha  and  appears  a  fortnight 

\\  $      V\     U     ,    \         \ 



fcbfl  |0W  to  Vbvt:\,Ns:^k  .;r.a  svv.v  :,>  lY:r\w*d  direct       Rw 

K\     I  II'  ICI.T!  \    .    II     IIM'II.  70 

tupply,  feed  them  elv<       the  earliest   arrivali  being  plaice, 
haddock,   and     bad    and  hat  kan 

i .iii-  nori  b  ooa  it  oi  01  ad  (2)  the 

lummer  fishing,  which  In  >ply  the  vrintei  need  i  oi  then 

•  I',;/;'.    ;ui'l     '  h '  • ;  r  j   <  -i  v « - 1         Mil  in     mid  .Jurm     1/1     I 


Gommercial  fl  thin  a  Japan*  For  fche 

wii'.i'  put  up  i"  auction 

i   at   Vladivo  itok   \>y    i  he   l><  pai  i  merit  <>i    l><'' 
Hie  total  amount  realized  in  1013  w$m  £31,419  ,  the  amount 
three  jrear   bet  (X)    The  number  oi  Ku 

i bat  bake  "|>  the  fishing  in  1010  only 

.)  per  cent,  irere  taken  by  them,  In  1012  22  per  ooni      in 
1013  there  irere  141 

only  'i  d  u  In  I ii-  ea  tern  Kamchal  ka  1 1 

mo  i.  oi  which  !  '■  30  R 

tal  Ion    "'  Kamchal  ka.    'i  hen  tendency 

tnohatka  to  look  for  better  on  tomi  i  than  the  Japi 
who  beat  down  pricei  Bnt  fche  coat  oi  freight  mal 
almo  •  Impo   Ible  for  the  fish  oi  on  to  compet* 

oi  the  Amur.    Again  all  labour  and  iupplii 
\»  brought  from  Vladivostok     Not  only  li  fche  distance  from 
Japan  considerably  mi,  Mm  workmen  .u<-  paid  u-hh, 

their  food  oo  I    le     and  I  hi  ,  ha  i  &ppty  oi  schooneri 

and  iteamei    for  handling  the  fish,    The  only  oommun  i 
uninhabifc  d  d 

i  during  a  i  hoi  I  lailin  by  ( he  limited 

iteam  oi  the  Volunteer  i''i«  »■<  and  all  net* and  material 

to  I"-  brought  a  loi  Hw  Japan*  «•  fl  ihei  mi  n 

ecure  abundant  lupplfr    from  n 

Canning  bai  been  itarted  In  Kamchatka  iritb  iom< 
the  work  li  mostly  done  by  Japanese  firms.    The  chief 
oanni  d  tin  Ossi  tu  pa,  Bol  ihfl  'alana, 

and  Kolpokara  riven      Cn  1013  the  total  output  oi  tinned 
salmon  In  Kamohatl  fourdozen  lib.  fcins. 

Tim   .:•.(«  hi    of    Mm   :.;i.Iimoii    li  ..In  /  y    in    Okhof.k    ;uid    K:un 

<  hal  l..i.  <  :.n  b<  realized  from  the  numbers  oi  fl  li  taken  In  1013, 


which  were  :  Okhotsk,  500,000  ;  western  Kamchatka, 
33,500,000 ;  eastern  Kamchatka,  11,800,000.  The  herring 
catch  in  these  districts  totalled  about  188,000. 

Besides  this  salmon  in  1913  there  were  prepared  in  Okhotsk 
213  tons  of  caviar,  in  western  Kamchatka  1,134  tons,  in 
eastern  Kamchatka  1,034  tons. 

There  are  various  ways  of  preparing  fish  :  one,  called 
yukola,  of  a  crude  nature,  is  only  applied  to  fish  intended 
for  the  consumption  of  natives  or  dogs  ;  the  form  of  fish- 
preserve  which  is  most  exported  is  called  balylc.  It  is 
exported  from  Okhotsk  to  Vladivostok  and  Yakutsk,  and 
from  Petropavlovsk  and  Ust-Kamchatsk  to  San  Francisco 
and  Vladivostok. 

Seal  Fisheries  of  Commander  Islands 
One  special  marine  industry  is  the  hunting  of  the  sea  bear 
or  fur  seal,  which  supplies  '  sealskin  \  The  centre  of  this,  as 
of  the  cod  industry,  is  the  Commander  Islands,  where  the 
creatures  congregate  in  the  summer.  In  the  course  of  the 
last  twenty-five  years  they  have  greatly  diminished  owing 
to  immoderate  fishing  in  the  open  sea.  In  1890  no  less  than 
55,435  reached  the  market,  but  in  1911  only  200.  In  1912 
a  prohibition  against  killing  them  for  the  next  five  years 
came  into  force.  During  this  period  there  is  every  reason  to 
hope  that  the  breed  will  have  been  regenerated  and  restored, 
especially  as  hunting  these  animals  in  the  open  sea  has  been 
prohibited  by  the  Washington  International  Commission  for 
fifteen  years.  With  the  renascence  of  the  sea  bear  it  is  hoped 
that  the  Commander  Islands  will  recover  in  prosperity  and 


Fishing  districts. — There  are  three  fishing  districts  in  this 
region  :  (1)  Nikolaevsk,  the  most  important,  comprises  the 
lower  Amur  for  200  miles  above  its  mouth,  the  Amgun,  the 
Amur  estuary,  about  130  miles  of  the  coast  of  Sakhalin,  and 
about  860  miles  of  the  coast  of  the  Okhotsk  Sea  from  Udskaya 


Bay  to  the  Amur  estuary.  (2)  Mariinsk,  from  Troitskoe 
to  Sofiisk,  a  reach  of  about  263  miles.  (3)  Khabarovsk, 
above  the  last  district  as  far  as  Khabarovsk,  a  reach  of  about 
107  miles. 

In  the  Nikolaevsk  district  there  are  three  kinds  of  fishing 
villages  :  fish-catching  stations,  salting  stations  which  buy 
but  do  not  catch  fish,  and  villages  which  do  some  fishing 
incidentally.  Leaving  out  of  account  the  many  villages  in 
the  last  category,  in  1913  there  were  111  fishing  stations  leased 
from  the  Government  at  a  total  annual  rental  of  £32,000  and 
28  fishing  stations  leased  from  the  municipality  of  Nikolaevsk  at 
a  total  annual  rental  of  £17,000.  In  the  Mariinsk  district  there 
were  27  and  in  the  Khabarovsk  district  3  commercial  fishing 
stations.  In  the  two  latter  districts  all  the  stations  were 
Russian.  Other  stations  were  given  free  of  charge  to  certain 
villages  in  order  to  ensure  their  food  supply.  The  fisheries  of 
the  River  Ussuri  are  entirely  in  the  hands  of  Cossacks  or 
natives  who  fish  for  their  own  needs  with  primitive  methods. 
Pronge,  lying  south  of  the  Amur  mouth,  used  to  have  an  im- 
portant fish  trade  with  Germany.  The  Volga  caviar  merchants 
have  a  station  in  this  region  which  was  reported  to  be  very 

Japanese  fishing. — Up  to  1899  the  Japanese  invasion  so 
completely  monopolized  the  fishing  industry  that  hardly  any- 
thing remained  over  for  the  Russian  population  or  Empire ;  in 
that  year  foreigners  were  prohibited  from  fishing  in  the  Amur 
and  its  estuary,  and  Russians  were  forbidden  to  use  foreign 
labour.  Under  these  conditions  development  of  the  fishing 
industry  became  possible,  and  it  has  been  especially  stimulated 
since  the  Russo-Japanese  War.  In  1907  a  convention  was  con- 
cluded with  Japan  by  which  the  Japanese  were  admitted  to 
the  same  fishing  rights  as  the  Russians.  From  this  conven- 
tion all  rivers  and  thirty-four  bays  in  the  Far  East  fisheries 
were  exempted,  and  it  is  practically  in  these  alone  that  Russian 
fishing  prospers.  In  the  Amur  estuary  foreigners  are  allowed 
to  prepare  but  not  to  catch  the  fish.  The  chief  buyers 
in  the  Amur  fishery  were  originally  the  Japanese,  but  they 


have  lost  their  market  by  trying  to  force  down  prices.  The 
catch  in  1910  was  so  good  that  it  enabled  the  trade  to  send 
great  quantities  to  Europe,  and  the  business  thus  inaugurated 
has  continued.  In  1912  the  fish  trade  with  Japan  from  the 
Maritime  Province  was  practically  extinct. 

Amur  fishery. — The  conditions  of  the  fishing  industry  on 
the  Amur  have  greatly  improved.  The  fact  that  better 
prices  now  obtain  ought  to  stop  the  excessive  fishing  that 
formerly  prevailed,  but  probably  stringent  regulations  will 
have  to  be  introduced.  In  the  remoter  districts  the  rule  that 
fish  may  not  be  caught  within  two  versts  of  a  river  mouth 
is  constantly  disregarded.  A  fish  hatchery  is  to  be  established 
at  Nikolaevsk  by  the  Government,  which  is  alive  to  the  danger 
of  the  rapid  exhaustion  of  the  fisheries  under  the  present 
method.  With  a  view  to  encouraging  local  consumption  the 
experiment  is  to  be  made  of  giving  fish  a  prominent  place  in 
the  rations  of  the  troops.  The  Amur  stations  are  being 
equipped  according  to  the  latest  plans  with  refrigerators, 
electric -light  installation,  and  all  processes  that  make  for 

Salmon. — The  most  important  fishery  is  for  salmon,  and 
then  for  sturgeon.  Besides  the  fish  specially  named  there 
are  about  fifty  varieties  of  less  commercial  value.  The  salmon 
of  the  Amur  are  the  keta,  which  enters  the  river  from  the 
end  of  June,  and  the  gorbusha,  which  ascends  the  river  at 
intervals  from  the  middle  of  August  to  the  middle  of  September, 
often  going  up-stream  1,200  miles.  On  the  lower  Amur  the 
average  weight  of  the  spring  keta  is  4  lb.,  of  the  autumn 
keta  9  lb.,  and  of  the  gorbusJia  2£  lb.  In  1913  the  catch  on 
the  lower  Amur,  exclusive  of  the  Nikolaevsk  district,  was 
about  1,340,000  keta..  In  the  Nikolaevsk  district  the  catch 
was  about  18,260,000  keta,  and  7,500,000  gortmslm. 

In  1913  there  were  sent  46,031  tons  of  fish  and  fish  products 
by  rail  via  Khabarovsk.  The  trade  has  become  so  much 
stimulated  that  special  storage-houses  are  to  be  built  at 
Moscow  and  Vladivostok.  The  fish  for  the  Russian  market  is 
either  frozen  or  salted,  and  sent  in  25-pnd  barrels  ;  for  Japan 


it  is  dry-salted  in  the  Japanese  way,  without  barrels.  There 
is  a  rapidly  growing  trade  in  salmon-caviar,  especially  the  roe 
of  the  keta,  which  used  formerly  to  be  thrown  to  the  dogs,  but 
3,652  tons  of  it  were  in  1912  carried  by  railway  in  refrigerators. 
There  is  some  trade  also  in  train-oil  made  of  fishes'  livers, 
about  10,000  gallons  being  secured  in  a  month  and  a  half. 
There  is  only  one  canning  factory  in  this  region  :  in  1913  it 
turned  out  about  100,000  tins  of  salmon,  each  of  1  lb. 

Scientific  investigation  has  revealed  a  good  many  facts 
about  the  Amur  salmon.  It  is  a  migratory  fish,  that  lives 
in  the  sea  and  ascends  the  river  only  at  spawning-time.  The 
young  fish  make  their  way  down  to  the  sea  and  live  there 
for  three  or  four  years,  after  which  thejT  assemble  in  large 
shoals,  and  ascend  the  river  against  the  current  for  more 
than  1,200  miles.  In  their  life  as  river  fish  their  colour  and 
appearance  change.  After  spawning  they  become  weakened 
and  are  swept  down  by  the  current,  while  so  many  die  of 
exhaustion  that  there  is  a  general  belief  that  all  fish  that  enter 
the  river  succumb. 

Sturgeon. — Sturgeon-fishing  on  the  Amur  is  mainly  a  winter 
industry,  but  there  is  serious  danger  of  the  fish  being  exter- 
minated. The  Government  have  had  little  success  in  attempt- 
ing to  limit  the  season  from  June  15  to  the  melting  of  the 
ice  and  to  prevent  the  use  of  drag-nets.  Fishing  goes  on  all 
through  the  year,  even  during  the  spawning  season.  Large 
specimens  are  already  scarce,  the  average  being  from  30  to 
40  lb.  In  winter  they  are  caught  by  hooks  through  holes  in 
the  ice  in  large  pools,  which  the  natives  know  them  to  frequent. 
The  consumption  is  almost  entirely  local.  In  1913  the  total 
catch  was  147  tons.  The  Government  imposes  a  tax  of  ftf. 
per  lb.  The  better  kind  is  caught  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Khabarovsk,  though  the  sturgeon  is  much  more  plentiful  near 
Nikolaevsk.  A  certain  amount  of  caviar  is  shipped  to 
Vladivostok.  One  special  form  of  sturgeon  on  the  Amur  is 
the  halug,  or  white  sturgeon. 

F  2 



The  fishing  in  Sakhalin  is  losing  importance.  Here  besides 
the  keta  and  gorbusha,  which  swarm  in  August,  herring  is 
a  common  fish  ;  it  is  used  almost  entirely  as  fish-manure, 
which  is  exported  to  Japan.  In  1913,  a  bad  year  for  herring, 
the  total  catch  in  the  fourteen  stations  in  Russian  Sakhalin 
was  about  200,000  salmon  and  4|  million  herring.  About 
274  tons  of  herring  manure  and  an  equal  amount  of  salted 
salmon  were  exported  to  Japan.  Smaller  quantities  of  fish 
and  caviar  went  to  Russia.  The  Gilyaks  engage  in  herring- 
fishing,  when  the  keta  season  is  over.  To  the  Gilyak  fish  is  the 
principal  form  of  food.  His  supply  for  winter  is  almost 
exhausted  by  December,  though  there  is  fishing  for  dorse  in 
Baikal  Bay  during  the  winter.  Then  comes  a  time  of  great 
hardship.  In  April  the  seals  appear,  but  before  their  arrival 
comes  the  haddock,  which  is  hooked  through  holes  in  the  ice. 
Then  come  herring  and  halibut  (Pleuronectes  hippoglossus), 
which  sometimes  weigh  more  than  100  lb.  Trout  (Salmo 
fario)  appears  in  the  rivers,  but  the  next  great  catch  is  the  ide 
(Idus  melanotus),  which  is  caught  by  baskets  in  the  rivers. 
The  smelts  (Osmerus  eperlanus)  are  so  numerous  that  they  are 
often  ladled  out  of  the  water.  An  ally  to  the  Gilyak  fisherman 
is  the  grampus  or  killer-whale,  a  voracious  animal  which  drives 
fishes  and  seals  before  it  up  the  rivers  or  on  to  the  coast  ;  in 
return  for  these  services  the  natives  give  it  a  friendly  reception 
if  they  meet  it  alive,  and  inter  its  body  with  due  rites  if  it  is 
washed  ashore. 

The  Gilyak  have  a  special  type  of  weir  or  dam  for  catching 
fish  ;  this,  as  well  as  a  Japanese  weir,  is  constantly  used 
also  on  the  mainland. 

The  South-west 

The  sea-coast  of  the  Ussuri  district  of  Primorsk  is  known 
as  the  south-west  region.  It  extends  from  the  boundary  of 
Korea  to  Cape  Lazarev  at  the  south  of  the  Amur  estuary. 
In  this  region  seven  bays,  including  Peter  the  Great  and 
Imperatorskaya   Bays,   are  excluded  from  the   convention. 


North  of  Peter  the  Great  Bay  the  industry  is  principally  in 
Japanese  hands.  The  reservation  of  the  fishing-rights  in  this 
bay  for  Russians  has  put  an  end  to  Chinese  and  Korean 
trade,  and  the  proximity  of  a  good  market  in  Vladivostok 
has  greatly  helped  Russian  industry.  Steam-trawling  is 
beginning  in  this  bay,  the  first  trawler  being  British-built. 
Fish  caught  in  this  way  are  salted. 

The  chief  fish  caught  in  these  waters  is  herring ;  it 
approaches  the  shores  and  enters  Peter  the  Great  Bay  about 
the  middle  of  November,  comes  again  through  the  end  of 
December,  January,  and  the  beginning  of  February,  and  pays 
a  final  visit  in  April.  The  principal  herring  fisheries,  however, 
are  north  of  Imperatorskaya  Bay.  Besides  the  herring,  the 
keta  and  gorbusha  are  also  obtained.  Other  fish,  like  the 
smelt,  flounder,  mackerel,  and  dorse,  are  of  much  less  economic 
importance.  Counting  the  three  most  important  fish,  the 
catch  in  1913  was  about  41,000,000  herring,  658,000  gorbusha, 
and  138,000  keta. 

An  important  fishery  is  that  for  trepang  (Holothuria  edulis), 
the  Chinese  name  for  the  Golden  Horn  of  Vladivostok,  applied 
to  the  beche-de-mer  or  sea-slug.  It  is  found  on  rocky  bottoms 
along  the  whole  coast  of  thePrimorsk,  but  is  especially  common 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  Peter  the  Great  Bay.  The  Chinese 
spear  or  net  it.  There  are  two  seasons,  from  the  end  of  March 
to  June  and  from  mid-September  to  October.  The  average 
catch  for  a  fisherman  is  120  a  day.  They  weigh  about  six 
pounds  when  dried.  In  1913  about  9  tons  were  exported 
from  Vladivostok. 

In  1913  about  125  tons  of  dried  crabs  went  to  China  and 
Korea.     There  is  a  considerable  market  for  shrimps. 

Products  of  Wild  Animals 


Fur  is  the  oldest  established  trade  of  Siberia.     Originally 

the  lure  of  the  invaders,  it  was  for  many  years  the  form  in 

which  the  subject  tribes  paid  their  tribute.  Siberia  is  extremely 


rich  in  fur-bearing  animals,  but  with  the  growth  of  civiliza- 
tion and  the  destruction  of  the  forests,  they  are  being  driven 
further  and  further  north,  the  number  of  many  breeds  is 
being  seriously  diminished,  and  rigid  restrictions  on  their 
capture  have  to  be  introduced,  if  they  are  to  survive.  As 
a  rule,  the  colder  the  climate,  the  better  is  the  quality  and 
colour  of  the  coat.  The  lower  the  latitude,  the  less  silky  is 
the  fur,  and  the  hair  is  apt  to  be  '  harsh  '  in  the  tropics, 
lacking  in  softness  and  depth. 

In  western  Siberia  the  most  important  parts  for  fur-bearing 
animals  are  the  Berezov,  Surgut, Turinsk  andObdorsk  districts 
in  Tobolsk,  and  the  Narim  district  of  Tomsk.  In  certain 
parts  of  Tobolsk  Government  hunting  is  the  chief  occupation 
of  a  large  section  of  the  population,  providing  them  with  the 
means  of  existence,  e.  g.  along  the  Rivers  Vakh  and  Yugan  ; 
for  the  inhabitants  of  the  valleys  of  the  Rivers  Agan  and 
Torum-Yugan  it  is  as  important  as  fishing,  and  for  those 
of  the  lower  Ob  it  often  supplements  fishing  and  reindeer- 
breeding.  In  the  Narim  district  of  Tomsk  it  is  one  of  the 
main  industries,  as  much  as  fishing,  for  the  Ostyaks,  and  is 
an  addition  to  the  industries  carried  on  by  Russian  settlers. 
In  the  Kirghiz  steppes  there  is  hunting,  but  it  is  principally 
for  sport ;  it  is  only  the  poor  who  trade  with  the  proceeds 
of  the  chase,  though  they  do  secure  a  certain  number  of 
wolves,  foxes,  and  ermines. 

The  chief  fur  animals  found  in  western  Siberia  are,  in  the 
Tobolsk  Government,  the  squirrel,  fox,  ermine,  and  hare, 
and  in  the  Berezov  tundra  the  Arctic  fox;  less  common  are 
the  kolonok,  sable  (diminishing  greatly  in  the  Turinsk 
district),  brown  bear,  wolf,  and,  beyond  Obdorsk,  the  polar 
bear,  on  the  shores  of  the  Arctic  Ocean;  in  Tomsk,  of  most 
importance  are  the  squirrel,  kolonok,  sable  (greatly  decreasing), 
fox,  ermine,  bear,  hare,  and  skunk. 

In  Yeniseisk  hunting  is  the  chief  occupation  in  the  north, 
and  also  in  the  Turukhansk  and  Angara  districts.  Elsewhere 
it  is  only  supplementary.  The  deer,  the  Arctic  fox,  the  hare 
and  the  squirrel  arc  the  chief  animals.     The  others  are  rare 


and  small.  In  the  Irkutsk  Province  the  natives  are  nearly 
all  trappers.  The  Kirensk  and  Verkholensk  districts  were 
once  well  stocked  with  animals,  but  they  are  rapidly  declin- 
ing. Nearly  all  the  fur  animals  are  found  here,  the  squirrel 
being  the  commonest.  In  Yakutsk  hunting  is  still  the  principal 
occupation  of  nearly  all  the  inhabitants,  but  the  decrease 
in  the  game  is  rapidly  making  it  secondary  to  fishing.  How- 
ever, fur  is  still  the  basis  of  barter  with  the  natives.  In  the 
Amur  and  Maritime  Provinces  hunting  is  the  chief  means 
of  livelihood  for  the  natives,  but  in  the  Amur  Province  not 
for  the  Cossacks.  In  the  Amur  the  natives  are  chiefly  occupied 
with  hunting  the  sable  for  its  fur,  while  the  Russians  mainly 
hunt  the  roebuck  for  its  leather.  A  number  of  valuable 
animals  are  found  in  the  Maritime  Province.  (For  a  detailed 
description  of  the  fur  animals,  see  pp.  52-59.) 

The  great  centre  of  the  trade  in  Siberia  is  the  Irbit  fair, 
though  the  December  fair  at  Ishim  also  has  importance, 
especially  for  the  sale  of  squirrels'  fur.  But  besides  these 
big  centres  there  are  many  smaller  fairs  arranged  at  the 
close  of  the  hunting  season,  which  is  usually  the  early  winter. 
The  hunting  is  often  done  by  co-operative  groups,  who  share 
profits.  The  fur  trader  often  deals  with  these  people,  directly 
trafficking  in  things  like  tea,  sugar,  tobacco,  gunpowder,  and 
manufactured  goods,which  are  indispensable  to  the  inhabitants, 
for  the  furs  which  they  have  come  to  buy.  The  smaller  fairs 
are  losing  their  importance.  But  the  fur  trader  is  often  the 
agent  of  a  bigger  man,  and  the  fur  passes  from  hand  to  hand 
till  it  reaches  one  of  the  great  fairs.  The  agents  of  the  larger 
firms,  principally  German  and  English,  push  farther  and 
farther  inland. 

It  is  difficult  to  give  accurate  figures  of  the  number  of 
animals  killed,  and  the  amount  of  fur  secured  ;  we  do  not 
know  how  much  is  used  in  local  consumption,  in  manufactur- 
ing clothes  for  the  inhabitants,  but  the  figures  of  Irbit  fair 
are  accurately  known,  and  furnish  the  best  evidence  of  the 
present  state  of  the  trade.  Irbit  fair  takes  place  from 
February  8  to  March  10.     It  is  supposed  that  two-tliirds  of 


what  is  for  sale  there  comes  from  the  country  west  of  Lake 
Baikal.  What  is  not  sold  at  Irbit  usually  goes  on  to  Nizhne- 
Novgorod.  A  great  deal  of  sable  is  not  sent  to  Irbit,  but 
direct  to  Moscow.  Now,  owing  to  the  restriction  on  killing 
sable  (mentioned  on  p.  54),  which  may  be  continued,  sable 
appears  to  a  much  smaller  extent  among  the  sales  at  Irbit. 
The  most  important  centre  and  distributing  point  of  the 
fur  trade  is  London,  the  next  most  important  is  Leipzig, 
near  which  place,  at  Weissenfels,  there  is  a  gigantic  industry 
in  dressing  the  skins  of  Russian  grey  squirrels  and  making 
them  into  linings.  Irbit  used  to  be  eighty  miles  from  the 
railway  :  the  opening  of  the  branch  that  goes  through  Irbit 
and  Turinsk  from  the  Perm-Tyumen  Railway  to  the  Tavda 
may  do  a  great  deal  to  recreate  the  greatness  of  the  Irbit 
fair  by  making  it  more  accessible  ;  but  it  looks  as  though 
the  importance  of  fairs  would  be  lessened,  as  the  traders  are 
more  and  more  making  their  purchases  at  the  place  of 
production  and  dealing  with  the  trappers  on  the  spot. 

In  1910  the  total  sales  at  Irbit  amounted  to  £729,000  ;  in 
1912  prices  had  risen  from  15  to  20  per  cent.,  and  the  total 
amounted  to  £833,000  ;  in  1917  with  a  great  increase  in  prices 
the  sales  totalled  £724,160.  The  sales  in  1912  included 
4,535,000  squirrel-skins,  1,500,000  rabbits,  12,250  sables, 
200,000  ermines,  1,500  brown  bear,  180,000  kolonok,  16,500 
grey  wolf,  14,000  to  15,000  fox.  Very  fine  sable  sold  for 
£42  each  ;  black  fox  skins  were  scarce,  and  fetched  anything 
from  £21  to  £105  ;  grey  wolf  skins  were  sold  from  £1  5s.  to 
£3  lis.  In  1914  the  total  value  of  squirrel-skins  alone  was 
£228,000,  but  in  1915  there  was  a  great  drop  in  the  sale  of  these 
to  £90,000.  In  1916  business  was  rather  slack.  The  chief 
fur-sales  were  as  follows  :  about  3,500  badgers  ;  1,500  bears, 
the  price  being  about  £3  4s.  5\d.  per  skin  ;  60,000  black  cats 
fetching  up  to  Is.  5\d.  per  skin  ;  10,000  Orenburg  marmots  ; 
1,000  pine  martens  from  £1  12s.  2hd.  to  £1  18s.  lid.  each  ; 
500  stone  martens,  £1  7s.  lid. ;  6,000  mink;  large  quantities  of 
red  fox  ;  small  quantities  of  Yeniseisk  white  fox  at  £3  4s.  id. ; 
7,000  Obdorsk  white  fox,  ranging  from  £2  5s.  to  £3  per  skin; 


some  Pechora  white  fox  at  £2  13s.  Sd.  ;  about  100  silver  fox, 
ranging  from  £16  2s.  to  as  much  as  £107  each  ;  about  4,000 
reindeer  fawns  sold  up  to  7s.  Qd.,  the  same  number  of  summer 
reindeer  skins  sold  from  10s.  9d.  to  15s.  Q\d.  ;  only  some 
3,000  sable,  the  lowest  price  being  £2  15s.  10c?.,  the  highest 
£8  lis.  2d.  ;  squirrels  were  very  numerous,  and  fetched  high 
prices,  the  best  with  full  tails  (3,000,000),  realizing  from 
8s.  Id.  to  9s.  The  Chinese  bought  up  most  of  the  dark  ones 
on  the  spot,  and  only  about  500,000  of  them  were  offered  for 
sale,  less  valuable  type#  fetching  lOeZ.  or  Is.  ;  1,000,000  white 
hares  sold  up  to  Is.  \\d.  for  the  best ;  about  250,000  white 
pole-cats  from  3s.  5d.  to  3s.  9d.  ;  wolves  were  much  in  demand, 
about  2,000  were  sold,  fetching  £1  18s.  Id.  The  best  from 
Turukhansk  sold  from  £3  0s.  Id.  to  £3  15s.  Id. 

Fur-fairs  are  held  at  the  confluences  of  the  chief  tributaries 
of  the  Amur,  at  Albazin,  for  instance,  and  Blagovyeshchensk. 
In  the  Uda  district,  where  the  sable  is  especially  good,  the 
fairs  are  at  Kulcha  on  Lake  Orel,  Burukanskaya  on  the  Tugur, 
and  at  the  mouth  of  the  Uda.  There  is  an  important  fur-fair, 
on  a  much  larger  scale  than  these,  at  Nikolaevsk.  As  the 
natives  of  this  region  remove  the  heads  and  claws  of  the 
bears  from  religious  motives,  the  bear-skins  here  are  not  of 
much  value. 

In  the  far  North-East  the  Anyui  fair,  once  of  the  first 
importance,  has  declined  considerably,  since  the  Chukchee 
prefer  to  barter  most  of  their  furs  with  the  Americans  on 
Bering  Strait.  Only  the  most  valuable  furs  are  sent  to  the 
Anyui,  as  for  these  Russians  give  better  prices.  A  number 
of  furs,  walrus,  and  mammoth-tusks  now  reach  Vladivostok 
by  sea  from  Gizhiga.  The  Russian  traders  at  the  Anyui  fair 
all  come  from  Yakutsk. 

At  one  time  the  Kyakhta  fair,  where  Chinese  merchants 
bought  the  peltries,  was  of  great  importance,  but  this  is  now 
no  longer  the  case. 

There  are  many  small  fairs  throughout  the  north  and  east. 
The  fur  sold  at  those  in  the  south  goes  to  Yeniseisk  and 
Irkutsk.    But  the  great  fur-market  of  the  north  is  the  Yakutsk 


fair,  which  is  held  in  July.    The  following  table  shows  the 
number  of  skins  sold  : 





£    s.    d. 

Sable      . 




White  fox 




(in  1911-12)  up  to 
2  14    0 


844    . 


Red  fox 


Grey  fox 


2  12     1 




Ermine  . 




5     9 


.      73,500 



1     2 

Black  bear 


In  the  average  of  the  total  amount  of  skins  of  fur-bearing 
animals  in  the  international  markets,  the  share  of  Russia 
and  Siberia  is  as  follows  : 

Hares  . 
Skunk  . 
Brown  bear 
Sable    . 

All  Russia. 
















A  word  or  two  may  be  added  about  the  last-named  animal. 
Its  numbers  had  fallen  so  alarmingly  that  a  law  has  been 
passed  forbidding  its  slaughter  from  February  1,  1913,  to 
October  15,  1916,  with  a  permanent  close  time  from  February 
to  October  in  each  year.  The  Moscow  Fur  Association  has 
pressed  for  a  renewal  of  this  law  for  another  three  years. 
In  Kamchatka  the  danger  of  the  sable  becoming  extinct  was 
recognized  some  years  ago,  and  reserves  were  marked  out 
within  which  the  hunting  of  sable  was  prohibited.  A  recent 
expedition  has  staked  out  two  large  sable-reserves  in  the 
Sayansk  district.  Sable  skins  range  from  15  to  20  in.  in 
length,  and  from  5  to  8  in.  in  breadth.  In  genuine  sable 
the  outer  covering  of  hair  is  especially  delicate  in  quality 
and  beautiful  in  colour,  having  a  rich  blue  tint,  and  varying 
from  11  to  2 J  in.  in  length,  while  the  pelt  is  very  soft,  but 


durable.  In  Kamchatka,  Sakhalin,  the  Maritime  Province, 
and  the  Barguzin  district  of  the  Transbaikal  the  sable  holds 
the  first  place.  It  is,  indeed,  the  most  valuable  of  the  fur 
animals.  The  best  black  sables  come  from  the  Yakutsk 
Province,  notably  the  Lena  district,  the  lightest  and  least 
valuable  from  the  Ob  and  the  Yenisei.  The  Kamchatka  sable 
is  browner  than  the  others.  The  fur  of  the  kolonok  ('  Tartar 
sable  '),  which  is  really  yellow,  can  be  dyed  so  as  to  resemble 
sable  with  such  success,  that  expert  judges  often  cannot  tell 
the  difference. 

Another  animal  for  which  protection  is  necessary  is  the 
white  fox.  Though  it  is  found  throughout  northern  Siberia, 
it  is  in  great  demand  for  imitating  the  rarer  black  and  silver 
fox  furs,  and  is  ruthlessly  hunted  in  consequence. 

The  Indigirka  is  now  the  centre  of  the  white  fox  hunting, 
the  skins  being  bought  up  by  the  agents  of  the  Ust-Yansk 
and  Yakutsk  merchants.  In  1911  good  skins  fetched  from 
15s.  to  30s.  there. 

The  squirrel  appears  in  the  largest  numbers  in  the  fur- 
markets.  The  farther  north  and  east  the  animal  is  found, 
the  darker,  thicker,  and  more  valuable  is  its  fur.  Next  to  the 
squirrel  comes  the  hare.  The  best  squirrels  come  from  the 
Lena,  but  the  ermines  from  that  region  are  the  least  valuable. 

Tiger-hunting  is  a  regular  occupation  in  winter  on  the 
lower  Amur.  In  1912  fifteen  were  killed  and  twelve  caught 
alive.  Of  these  ten  were  sent  to  Hamburg  for  sale.  In  some 
years  120  or  more  are  killed.  The  bile,  heart,  and  claws  are 
sold  to  the  Chinese,  who  make  from  them  a  powder,  which  is 
supposed  to  produce  courage. 


The  export  of  game  is  small.  In  1909  it  was  about  1,200 
tons,  worth  £53,000  ;  in  1910  about  1,800,  worth  £73,600. 
But  Siberia  abounds  in  edible  birds  of  many  kinds — duck, 
geese,  hazel-hens,  ptarmigan,  &c. — and  the  export  might  be 
much  increased  if  the  business  were  better  organized,  and 


more  ice-wagons  were  supplied  on  the  railways.    The  principal 
place  for  the  export  of  wildfowl  in  western  Siberia  is  Barnaul. 

Fossil  Ivory 

The  collecting  of  fossil  ivory  is  a  regular  industry  among 
the  natives  of  the  far  north.  The  mammoth  tusks  are 
found  principally  along  the  Arctic  Ocean.  Those  near  the 
shore  are  usually  smaller  than  those  inland.  The  New  Siberia 
Islands  are  a  favourite  hunting-ground,  the  waves  washing 
the  tusks  out  of  the  sand-dunes  in  stormy  weather.  On  the 
mainland  these  are  most  commonly  found  embedded  in  the 
earth  banks  of  the  smaller  streams,  the  spring  floods  exposing 
them  to  view.  The  natives  make  their  way  to  the  Arctic 
Ocean  or  the  adjacent  islands  with  their  dog -sledges  in  April, 
returning  in  November,  when  the  ice  is  firm  again.  The 
Yakutsk  fair  is  the  chief  market  for  fossil  ivory,  which  is 
little  inferior  to  ordinary  ivory.  Nearly  twenty  tons  were 
taken  in  1913,  the  price  at  Yakutsk  being  about  £5  105.  for 
36  lb.  A  certain  amount  is  brought  to  the  fairs  in  the 
Tobolsk  Government.  The  Chukchee  possess  beautiful  breast- 
ornaments  made  of  fossil  ivory.  The  flesh  of  the  mammoth 
is  eaten  by  the  natives,  apparently  without  harm  to  them- 
selves, but  Europeans  will  be  loth  to  follow  their  example. 



lassification :  I.  Palaeo-Siberian  Tribes.  II.  Neo-Siberian  Tribes:  (i)  Finno- 
Ugrian,  (ii)  Samoyedic,  (iii)  Turkic,  (iv)  Mongolie,  (v)  Tnngusic 


The  inhabitants  of  Siberia  may  be  considered  in  three 
oups,  corresponding  to  the  different  periods  at  which  the 
country  was  settled.  (1)  The  first  group  are  the  descendants 
of  the  pre-historic  inhabitants,  who  have  always  existed  in 
the  country,  or  else  entered  it  at  an  early  period  of  which 
for  Siberia  there  is  practically  no  knowledge.  Such  are  the 
Chukchee,  the  Koryak,  the  Gilyak,  and  these  are  the  aboriginal 
inhabitants.  (2)  Secondly  there  are  races  who  settled  in 
Siberia  during  the  great  movements  of  population  which  took 
place  in  Asia  from  the  third  to  the  thirteenth  century.  Such 
are  the  Finno-Ugrian  tribes — for  instance,  the  Vogul,  and 
perhaps  the  Samoyedes — who  came  from  the  south  of  the 
Altai  Mountains  in  the  third  century  ;  such  the  Turkic  tribes, 
Yakuts  and  Tartars,  who  came  from  the  regions  of  the  Oxus, 
perhaps  in  the  eleventh  century  or  earlier  ;  such  the  Mongols, 
a  people  akin  to  the  Turks,  coming  from  the  regions  of  the 
Himalayas  into  Siberia  in  the  time  of  the  famous  Jenghiz 
Khan,  early  in  the  thirteenth  century  ;  such  are  the  Buryats. 
(3)  Thirdly  there  are  the  Russian  colonists,  who  have  come 
more  or  less  continuously  into  Siberia  ever  since  the  notable 
expedition  of  the  Cossack  Yermak,  in  1580. 

The  tendency  to  expand  eastward  is  very  distinct  in 
Russian  history.  With  regard  to  Siberia,  Russian  historians 
are  fond  of  comparing  the  stream  of  immigrants  to  a  military 
column,  which  has  thrust  itself  along  a  broad  belt  of  territory 
stretching  east  and  west,  from  the  south  of  the  Ural  Moun- 


tains  to  the  valley  of  the  River  Amur.  The  territorial  belt 
thus  settled,  more  densely  than  any  other  part  of  the  country, 
begins  on  the  west,  between  Verkhoture  to  the  north  and 
Troitsk  to  the  south,  and  stretches  eastwards  between  Tobolsk 
and  Petropavlovsk ;  between  the  Tara  and  the  Om  the  belt 
narrows,  broadens  a  little  between  Tomsk  and  the  Biya, 
and,  as  a  compact  mass,  ends  about  Nizhne-Udinsk,  with  the 
rivers  which  flow  into  the  Yenisei.  In  its  eastward  march 
from  the  Urals  the  column  of  immigration  has  thrown  off 
outposts,  as  it  were,  which  form  settlements  along  the  Ob, 
Yenisei,  and  Lena ;  and  gradually  the  Amur  valley  is  being 
penetrated.  By  this  more  or  less  thickly  settled  belt  of 
colonization,  the  native  races  have  been  divided  into  a 
northern  and  southern  portion  ;  but  far  the  greater  number  of 
them  lie  to  the  north,  along  the  valleys  of  the  great  rivers 
that  flow  into  the  Arctic  Ocean. 

A  few  native  stocks  are  said  to  have  disappeared  altogether, 
or  to  have  been  absorbed ;  some,  like  the  Gilyaks  and  Chuk- 
chee,  in  the  far  corners  of  the  land,  are  practically  intact ; 
some,  like  the  Irtish-Ostyaks,  have  preserved  their  nationality 
even  amidst  Russians ;  some  by  intermarriage  have  exercised 
a  greater  influence  upon  the  Russians  than  the  Russians  have 
upon  them  ;  this  is  especially  true  of  the  numerous  tribes 
of  the  Yakuts,  whose  customs,  dress,  and  even  language,  have 
to  a  great  extent  been  adopted  by  the  immigrants.  This 
mixing  of  Russians  with  native  stocks  is  commonest  on  the 
outskirts  of  the  belt  of  settlement,  along  the  Yenisei  and 
Lena.  It  is  the  converse  of  what  happened,  in  the  Middle 
Ages,  in  Russia  itself,  when  native  stocks  from  central  Asia 
invaded  the  country,  and  intermarried  with  and  were  absorbed 
by  its  inhabitants.  Only  where  the  immigrants  are  com- 
paratively thick  in  Siberia,  do  the  natives  become  Russianized. 

In  this  way  new  types  have  arisen  in  Siberia  ;  in  addition 
to  pure  native  stocks,  there  are  native  stocks  infused  with 
Russian  elements,  stocks  whose  dominant  element  is  Russian, 
but  who  have  been  distinctly  affected  by  native  elements  ; 
and  finally  there  are  the  pure  Russians,  who,  from  living  in 


the  novel  conditions  of  life,  social  and  geographical,  of  Siberia, 
have  themselves  become  a  new  type,  different  from  the 
western  Russian. 

It  is  difficult  to  make  a  satisfactory  classification  of  the 
tribes  of  Siberia.  The  name,  Palaeasiasts  or,  better,  Palaeo- 
Siberians,  has  been  applied  to  those  indigenous  stocks,  which 
bear  no  clear  relation  to  the  other  races  that  inhabit  the  world, 
but  their  own  mutual  relations  are  very  indeterminate.  To 
the  rest,  sometimes  called  loosely  the  Ural-Altaic  stock,  is 
given  the  name  of  Neo-Siberians.  The  word  Mongolian  is 
used  too  loosely  for  the  purposes  of  scientific  classification, 
sometimes  so  as  to  cover  all  the  yellow  races,  including  the 
Palaeo-Siberian  tribes  ;  at  other  times  for  the  Ural-Altaic 
stock,  so  as  to  include  together  Finns,  Tartars  and  Turks  ; 
again  at  other  times,  and  more  accurately,  it  is  applied  to 
one  branch  of  this  stock,  i.e.  that  of  which  the  Kalmuks 
and  Buryats  are  members. 

Palaeo-Siberians. — To  the  Palaeo-Siberians  can  be  assigned 
without  further  definition  of  their  relations  to  one  another  the 
following  not  very  numerous  tribes  :  Chukchee,  Koryak,  Kam- 
chadal,  Gilyak,  Yukaghir  with  their  branch  the  Chuvanzi, 
Ostyak  of  Yenisei ;  outside  Siberia  are  the  Ainu,  Aleut,  of 
whom  some  live  in  the  Commander  Islands,  and  Eskimo,  of 
whom  a  small  number  have  returned  to  Asia. 

Neo-Siberians. — The  Neo-Siberians  can  be  divided  into  five 
fairly  clear  branches  :  (1)  the  Finno-Ugrian,  which  is  practi- 
cally confined  to  western  Siberia  and  Europe  ;  (2)  the  Samo- 
yedic,  which  extends  along  the  north  coast  beyond  the  Yenisei, 
and  has  one  branch,  the  Soyots,  among  the  Saj^ansk  Moun- 
tains ;  (3)  the  Turkic  ;  (4)  the  Mongolic,  whose  great  repre- 
sentative is  the  Buryat;  and  (5)  the  Tungusic,  which  includes 
the  Manchu  and  many  of  the  tribes  of  northern  Manchuria. 

Altogether  the  number  of  these  natives  in  Siberia  is  roughly 
a  million.  Many  of  the  tribes  are  dying  out;  few  only,  like 
the  Yakuts  and  Buryats,  are  increasing  in  numbers  and  have 
set  their  impress  upon  the  Russians  who  have  settled  among 


In  the  more  barren  parts  for  instance  among  the  marshes 
of  the  Irtish,  or  in  the  regions  towards  the  Arctic  Ocean,  where 
there  is  little  or  no  scope  for  agriculture,  and  where  hunting 
and  fishing  are  almost  the  only  occupations,  the  number  of 
natives  is  not  increasing.  But  in  the  more  fertile  parts  of  the 
country,  in  the  best  parts  of  the  river- valleys,  in  the  middle 
and  south,  the  native  stocks  do  tend  to  increase.  It  is  in 
these  parts  also  that  the  process  of  Russification  is  most 
clearly  taking  place.  Generally  speaking,  it  may  be  said 
that  the  annual  number  of  births  among  the  natives  is  satis- 
factory; diminution  m  their  numbers  comes  from  a  dispro- 
portionately high  death-rate,  particularly  among  infants. 
Nominally  most  of  the  natives  are  Christian,  and  belong  to 
the  Orthodox  Greek  Church.  But  the  old  superstitions  and 
the  old  gods  to  a  great  extent  prevail  among  them,  while  the 
more  outlying  tribes  have  hardly  been  touched  by  Christianity 
at  all.  They  still  have  their  images,  magic,  and  medicine- 
men, their  sacrifices,  and  their  taboos ;  polygamy  and  loose 
morality  are  not  uncommon ;  in  places,  even  slavery  exists ; 
the  blood-feud  is  handed  on  from  generation  to  generation. 
Amid  cold  and  dirt,  they  live  lives  which  to  the  western  mind 
appear  to  be  of  unrelieved  discomfort,  bringing  with  it 
painful  diseases,  unrelieved  by  any  medical  help,  and  only 
aggravated  by  the  brandy  for  which  they  greedily  offer  their 

I.     The  Palaeo-S iberian  Tribes 


Territory. — The  Chukchee  territory  proper  lies  east  of 
Chaun  Bay  and  north  of  the  Anadir.  But  now,  owing  to 
their  growing  herds,  the  Chukchee  have  spread  even  as  far 
as  the  Indigirka  in  the  west,  over  the  Anyui  to  the  Omolon,  and 
to  the  River  Opuka  and  the  Polpol  Mountains  on  the  Pacific. 
The  few  who  reached  Kamchatka  have  been  largely  assimilated 
by  the  Koryaks  (see  p.  106).  Their  territory  consists  chiefly 
of  tundra  with  a  fringe  of  forest,  the  camps  lying  mostly  along 
the  rivers,   which   are   separated   by   bare   watersheds.     In 


autumn  they  seek  the  edge  of  the  forest  for  shelter,  in  summer 
the  hills  near  a  small  glacier,  or  preferably  the  open  tundra. 
A  camp  wanders  about  100-150  miles,  following  the  same  track 
each  year.  If  the  ground  proves  unsatisfactory,  another  may 
be  chosen,  so  long  as  it  is  not  already  occupied.  It  is  worth 
noting  that  by  entering  the  Anyui  and  Omolon  territory  the 
Chukchee  have  put  an  end  to  the  migrations  of  the  wild 
reindeer  between  the  Omolon  and  Chaun  Bay.  Hence  the 
Yukaghir  (see  p.  113),  who  live  almost  entirely  upon  them, 
are  rapidly  dying  out. 

The  villages  of  the  Maritime  Chukchee  stretch  from  Cape 
Erri  to  Anadir  Bay,  except  for  a  few  Eskimo  settlements. 

Name. — The  word  '  Chukchee  '  is  generally  derived  from 
cau'eu  (rich  in  reindeer).  It  is  the  name  by  which  the  Reindeer 
Chukchee  distinguish  themselves  from  the  Reindeer  Koryak 
or  the  Maritime  Chukchee.  But  both  Reindeer  and  Maritime 
Chukchee  call  themselves  li'i-yi-lulit  (those  of  genuine 
language)  as  distinct  from  other  tribes. 

Language.  —  The  Chukchee  language  is  very  similar  to 
that  of  the  Koryak.  Though  rich  in  words  and  pliant,  it  is 
less  vital  than  Koryak  and  it  has  virtually  no  dialects.  The 
similarity  of  the  Chukchee  language,  as  of  their  stature 
and  features,  to  those  of  the  Indians  on  the  other  side  of 
Bering  Strait  is  said  to  be  noteworthy. 

The  dominant  position  of  the  Chukchee  is  shown  by  the 
way  in  which  they  force  other  tribes  and  even  the  Russians 
to  speak  their  language.  Even  on  the  Kolima  and  the  Anadir 
they  speak  very  little  Russian. 

Numbers. — The  Chukchee  probably  number  about  12,000. 
The  greater  part  are  reindeer-breeders,  who  inhabit  some 
650  camps.  Thanks  to  their  success  with  their  herds 
they  are  increasing  steadily  and  are  the  most  powerful  tribe 
in  the  east  of  Siberia. 

Relations  with  the  Russians. — Since  the  failure  of  their 
attempts  to  subdue  the  Chukchee  in  the  eighteenth  century, 
the  Russians  have  left  them  virtually  independent  and  the 
relations  between  them  have  been,  on  the  whole,  excellent. 


Many  parts  of  the  peninsula  have  never  been  visited  by 
a  Russian. 

The  power  of  the  Chukchee  chief  whom  the  Russians  recog- 
nize is  barely  nominal.  Since  1889  a  tribute  of  247  roubles  is 
paid  by  the  Chukchee  at  the  Anyui  fair,  but  most  of  it  comes 
from  wealthy  reindeer- breeders,  and  apparently  the  Russians 
are  again  obliged  to  give  very  substantial  presents  to  secure 
it,  now  that  the  fair  is  so  rapidly  declining. 

Tribal  divisions.— There  are  two  great  divisions  of  the 
tribe,  Reindeer  Chukchee  and  Maritime  Chukchee.  There 
is  considerable  evidence,  apart  from  tradition,  to  show  that 
the  Chukchee  were  at  one  time  entirely  a  maritime  people 
which  only  turned  its  attention  to  reindeer-breeding  by  degrees. 
Their  folk-tales  are  generally  of  the  sea  and  the  dog  figures 
more  largely  in  their  religious  life  than  the  reindeer,  though  it 
has  long  ceased  to  be  used  by  the  Reindeer  Chukchee  for 
driving  and  is  kept  chiefly  for  religious  reasons.  Some  of 
their  stories  point  to  their  having  migrated  from  the  south, 
as  do  their  names  of  the  months.  The  process  of  transforma- 
tion is  still  going  on.  Many  of  the  Maritime  Chukchee  have 
a  few  deer  in  the  herds  of  friends  and  thus  gradually  acquire 
the  means  of  starting  as  breeders.  Even  the  Eskimo  are 
following  their  example,  for  the  depredations  of  American 
whalers  are  rendering  the  livelihood  of  the  Arctic  people  who 
live  on  sea-mammals  more  and  more  precarious.  Not  that 
reindeer -breeding  is  without  its  risks.  In  a  bad  winter  many 
owners  may  lose  half  their  stock.  But  it  is  more  profitable 
and  more  stable,  on  the  whole,  and  many  coast  villages  have 
already  ceased  to  exist. 

Social  organization. — The  family  is  the  permanent  Chukchee 
unit,  but  the  camp  is  the  economic  unit.  It  generally  consists 
of  a  few  families,  perhaps  of  ten  to  fifteen  persons  in  all. 
Rich  people  generally  divide  their  herds,  forming  new  camps. 
Permission  to  join  a  camp  must  be  granted  by  its  members. 
Each  camp  has  its  master,  who  is  also  called  '  the  strongest 
man ' ,  and  lives  in  the  :  front  tent ' .  The  maritime  villages  only 
occasionally  have  such  a  master.     The  commoner  unit  with 


them  is  the  '  boatful '  of  eight  rowers  and  a  helmsman  who 
commands,  and  whose  nearest  relatives  form  the  crew.  The 
catch  is  divided  among  them  on  a  regular  system.  The 
'  strong  man '  has  more  influence  in  the  village  than  in 
the  scattered  camp.  Murder  within  the  family  group  is  dealt 
with  by  the  family  alone  and  dangerous  or  disagreeable 
members  are  sometimes  done  away  with.  Murder  outside  the 
family  entails  a  blood-feud  ;  for  revenge  is  a  duty.  A  group 
of  kindred  families  is  called  varat  (i.  e.  '  collection  of  those  who 
are  joined  together  ').  But  this  bond  of  union  is  nowadays 
very  loose. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — In  appearance  the 
Chukchee  are  well-built  and  healthy  though  heavy,  and  the 
well-fed  reindeer-breeders  are  wonderfully  strong.  The  nose 
is  large  and  well-formed,  but  the  lower  part  of  the  face  is  dis- 
proportionately heavy.  Except  on  the  Pacific  coast,  the  hair 
is  black.  That  on  the  face  is  scanty,  but  a  moustache  is  the 
sign  of  manhood.  The  skin  of  the  Maritime  Chukchee  is 
darker  than  that  of  the  Reindeer.  Women  are  more  often  of 
the  Mongolian  type,  but  many  are  as  fair  and  shapely  as 
the  average  of  the  white  race.    On  the  whole  the  stock  is  pure. 

Marriages  with  Russianized  Creoles  are  perhaps  increasing, 
owing  to  the  prosperity  of  the  Chukchee,  but  they  are  generally 
childless.  There  is  a  marked  decrease  of  syphilis  in  the  present 
generation  owing,  perhaps,  to  the  precautionary  measures 
taken  in  the  last.  But  the  country  is  liable  to  be  swept  by 
epidemics  of  measles  and  other  diseases.  The  Chukchee 
are  easily  angered,  but  quarrels  are  usually  settled  by  fights 
or  wrestling-matches.  Murders  are  still  fairly  numerous, 
however.  The  language  is  notably  poor  in  terms  of  abuse.  The 
kindness  of  the  Chukchee  towards  suffering,  even  in  animals, 
is  most  noticeable,  as  is  their  gentleness  with  children.  They 
are  also  wonderfully  generous  towards  other  tribes.  In  time 
of  famine  a  rich  breeder  near  the  Kolima  will  kill  hundreds 
of  animals  for  hardly  any  return.  Some  of  the  Lamuts  (see 
p.  103)  on  the  Chaun  tundra  get  half  their  food  from  the 
Chukchee.      Though    there    is    now    no    ill-feeling    towards 

G  2 


foreigners,  the  Maritime  Chukchee  are  more  hospitable  than 
the  others  and  less  given  to  stealing.  The  Reindeer  Chukchee 
are  continually  robbing  each  others'  herds,  the  theft  being 
punished  by  a  fine  or  a  thrashing,  where  the  victim  is  strong 
enough  to  enforce  his  rights.  The  Chukchee  are  slow-witted 
and  easily  cheated  in  business.  Their  quinary- vigesimal 
system  of  counting  is  clumsy  in  the  extreme  and  they  can  only 
keep  track  of  the  more  notable  animals  in  their  herds.  Thej^ 
have  no  remedies  against  disease  except  magic.  Their 
endurance  of  cold  is  astonishing.  Women  will  sew  in  the 
open  snow  half  naked,  because  the  exertion  makes  them  so 
hot.  They  are  not  clean.  They  even  call  themselves  the 
*  non- washing  people  '. 

Fishing. — Seal-hunting  is  the  chief  occupation  of  the 
Maritime  Chukchee.  They  use  light  harpoons  for  stabbing 
the  seals  through  their  blow-holes  in  winter,  when  they  do  not 
net  them.  For  stalking  them  in  the  open  they  use  heavier 
ones,  but  these  are  being  rapidly  superseded  by  guns.  Wal- 
ruses are  much  less  common,  though  since  the  Americans  no 
longer  hunt  them  they  are  a  little  more  numerous.  On  the 
Pacific  coast  they  are  most  easily  killed  during  their  migrations 
between  Kresta  Bay  and  Cape  Dezhneva.  Walrus  and  white 
whale  are  the  favourite  food.  The  Chukchee  skin-boats  are 
made  out  of  one  or  at  most  two  walrus-hides.  They  are  light 
and  can  carry  more  than  a  whale-boat,  but  they  are  easily 
holed.  Whale-boats  are  being  more  and  more  used,  but  owing 
to  the  scarcity  of  wood  they  are  difficult  to  make. 

Hunting. — The  Reindeer  Chukchee,  in  addition  to  breeding 
reindeer,  also  hunt  the  wild  reindeer  when  they  cross  the 
Anadir  between  the  mouth  of  the  Main  and  Chikayeva.  They 
leave  the  Polpol  Mountains  in  March  and  continue  crossing 
in  June,  beginning  to  return  in  July.  Some  twenty  Chukchee 
families  on  the  middle  Anadir  live  on  nothing  else  and  each 
gets  100-200  deer  in  a  year.  Non-migratory  deer  are  also 
shot  and  mountain  sheep  are  highly  prized.  Wolves,  bears, 
and  white  or  red  foxes  are  trapped,  while  birds  are  snared. 
North   of  the  Anadir  there  is  comparatively  little  fishing. 


Bows  and  spears  are  still  used  in  quarrels  and  every  Chukchee 
wears  a  knife  on  his  hip.  The  Chukchee  make  themselves 
snow-goggles  out  of  leather  or  wood,  with  narrow  slits  for  the 
eyes.  The  armour  of  walrus-ivory,  seal-hide,  or  iron  is  now 
kept  only  as  a  curiosity.  The  Chukchee  dogs  are  poor, 
though  the  Maritime  Chukchee  eat  them  in  time  of  famine.  The 
excellent  Anadir  dogs  fetch  high  prices  among  the  Chukchee. 

Dwellings. — The  Chukchee  tent  is  large  and  round  with 
an  oblong  inner  room  which  is  the  chief  habitation.  The 
three  central  poles  have  a  sacred  character.  The  tent  is 
always  set  to  the  same  points  of  the  compass  and  the  left  side 
belongs  by  custom  to  the  master.  The  inner  tent  is  lit  by 
a  single  lamp  and  the  main  evening  meal  is  eaten  there. 
Guests  strip  to  the  waist,  while  the  family  is  naked  except 
for  a  belt,  as  the  heat  rapidly  becomes  stifling.  The  stench 
is  intolerable.  Older  and  thinner  skins  are  kept  for  the 
summer  tent. 

Clothing. — The  chief  garment  of  a  Chukchee  is  a  heavy  double 
loose-fitting  reindeer-fur  shirt,  the  collar  of  which  can  be 
tightened  with  a  string.  His  boots  and  trousers  are  also 
double  and  of  the  same  material.  In  these  and  his  cap  he 
can  sleep  in  the  open  in  winter.  The  Maritime  Chukchee 
buy  the  cast-off  clothes  of  their  Reindeer  brethren,  who  never 
wear  them  two  winters  running.  In  very  bad  weather  they 
also  wear  a  cape  or  a  long  great-coat.  The  women  wear  long 
boots  and  clumsy  combinations,  the  sleeves  of  which  so 
interfere  with  their  work  that  they  frequently  keep  one  arm 
and  breast  bare.     The  Chukchee  woman  tattoos  very  little. 

Food. — The  Maritime  Chukchee  live  largely  on  sea- 
mammals,  the  Reindeer  Chukchee  on  meat,  but  each  at 
times  craves  for  the  other's  diet.  The  Reindeer  Chukchee 
are  not  squeamish.  They  will  eat  meat  or  entrails  in  any 
state  of  decomposition.  They  drink  large  quantities  of  tea 
and  all  the  alcohol  they  can  get  and  are  inveterate  smokers. 
Like  the  Koryak,  they  make  an  intoxicant  from  a  mushroom. 

Birth  and  marriage. — The  Chukchee  are  prolific,  many 
families  ha  vine  from  5  to  9  children. 


Marriage  is  not  permanent.  A  man  may  change  his  wife. 
As  a  rule,  however,  the  marriage  is  broken  by  her  relatives 
reclaiming  the  bride.  There  are  also  '  group-marriages  '  of 
10  couples,  in  which  the  husbands  have  a  right  to  each  other's 
wives.  But  this  tie  is  never  made  between  people  in  the 
same  camp.  On  the  death  of  a  husband  his  brother  succeeds 
him,  keeping  the  dead  man's  reindeer  herd  for  his  children. 
Polygamy  is  rare  among  the  Maritime  Chukchee,  as  they 
cannot  afford  to  support  two  wives,  but  not  uncommon 
among  the  Reindeer  breeders. 

Death. — Chukchee  funeral  rites  are  largely  a  protection 
against  the  evil  influence  of  the  dead.  The  body  is  drawn 
up  through  a  hole  in  the  roof  or  the  back  of  the  tent  and  all 
traces  are  removed  to  prevent  the  dead  man's  return.  It  is 
taken  to  the  burial-place  on  a  sledge.  Here  it  is  opened,  the 
organs  examined,  and  the  cause  of  death  proclaimed.  The 
throat  is  then  cut.  The  corpse  is  either  exposed  or  burned. 
It  is  afterwards  visited,  to  see  whether  it  has  been  carried  off 
by  beasts — the  best  sign.  On  the  fifth  day  the  tent  is  moved 
to  another  place,  but  sacrifices  are  afterwards  made  at  the 
grave.  The  usual  abode  of  the  dead  is  thought  to  be  under- 
ground. Those  who  die  sudden  or  violent  deaths  dwell  in  the 
Aurora  Borealis. 

Religion.—  V rair -git  among  the  Chukchee  are  the  benevolent 
beings  to  whom  sacrifices  are  made,  and  they  live  in  the 
22  directions  of  the  Chukchee  compass.  The  chief  one  lives  in 
the  zenith  ;  and  Midday,  the  Sun,  and  the  Pole -Star  are  very 
important.  Others  live  in  the  reindeer  and  the  walrus  and 
in  the  winds.  There  are  three  classes  of  kelet  or  evil  spirits, 
(a)  invisible  spirits,  bringing  disease  and  death  ;  (b)  blood- 
thirsty spirits,  the  enemies  of  warriors  ;  (c)  spirits  which 
assist  the  shaman.  The  kelet  is  fond  of  the  liver.  Hence  the 
opening  of  a  corpse  to  discover  what  kelet  has  attacked  its 
liver.  According  to  the  Chukchee  there  are  from  five  to 
nine  worlds  one  above  the  other,  connected  by  a  passage 
under  the  pole-star.     Other  parts  of  the  sky  are  also  inhabited. 

The    object   of   Chukchee   ceremonial  is-  to  maintain  the 


welfare  of  the  community,  and  incantations  are  the  leading 
feature.  The  chief  festivals  are  the  autumn  and  winter 
slaughterings,  the  ceremonial  of  antlers  and  the  sacrifices 
to  the  New  Moon,  the  Fire,  and  for  Luck  in  Hunting.  More- 
over, each  family  must  perform  a  thanksgiving  ceremony 
twee  a  year. 

Sport. — The  Chukchee  are  fond  of  sport.  They  will  travel 
enormous  distances  to  race  their  reindeer  in  the  spring. 
There  are  also  foot  races  and  wrestling  matches. 

Reindeer-breeding. — The  Chukchee  reindeer  herds,  which 
are  probably  the  most  numerous  in  the  world,  are  the  most 
important  economic  feature  in  far  north-eastern  Siberia. 
It  is  therefore  convenient  to  include  in  this  section  a  general 
account  of  reindeer-breeding  in  eastern  Siberia  with  more 
particular  reference  to  the  Chukchee. 

The  Chukchee  laid  the  foundations  of  their  present  pros- 
perity in  their  raids  on  the  Koryak  herds  during  the  eighteenth 
century,  but  the  principal  increase  has  been  during  the  last 
fifty  years.  The  son  of  a  chief  who  used  to  be  looked  on  as 
very  wealthy  because  he  owned  two  herds,  possesses  five 
to-day,  while  his  brother-in-law  and  his  cousin  each  own 

The  Chukchee  deer  are  imperfectly  tamed  and  readily  run 
wild  again.  Milking  is  out  of  the  question  and  they  are 
difficult  to  manage  in  harness.  The  breed  is  undersized 
with  short  head  and  legs,  heavy  body,  and  thick  antlers,  and 
is  dark  in  colour  when  compared  with  the  Lamut.  It  is 
good  for  food,  fattening  quickly  and  keeping  its  condition. 
But  it  cannot  be  ridden  and  is  much  weaker  than  the  Lamut, 
which  is  of  twice  its  value.  A  Lamut  fawn  is  exchanged  for 
a  full-grown  Chukchee  deer.  Hence  the  Chukchee  use 
Lamut  deer  in  harness  and  sell  their  own  to  the  Lamut  for 
food.  Crossing  between  wild  and  tame  animals  is  common, 
the  wild  deer  visiting  the  Chukchee  camps  in  the  rutting 
season.  The  fawns  are  much  valued  for  racing,  as  they  are 
swifter  and  have  more  mettle  than  the  others.  Their  pedigree 
is  preserved  for  three  or  four  generations.     A  cross  between 


a  wild  doe  and  a  tame  buck  is  especially  prized.  In  colour 
the  deer  vary  from  dark  grey  to  hazel,  the  fawns  being  darker 
than  the  full-grown  animal.  The}-  live  from  twelve  to 
fifteen  years.  They  begin  to  shed  their  coats  in  spring 
and  finish  by  midsummer.  The  hair  thickens  rapidly.  By 
September  it  is  suitable  for  winter  clothes,  for  which  fawn- 
skins  are  used.  The  skins  of  full-grown  animals  make  tent- 
covers  or  rugs. 

In  winter  the  herd  lives  almost  entirely  on  reindeer  moss, 
in  summer  chiefly  on  reed-grass  and  willow-shoots.  In  late 
summer  and  early  autumn  both  moss  and  grass  are  necessary 
to  fatten  the  herd.  This  is  most  important,  because  if  a  herd 
does  not  fatten  then  it  will  never  fatten  and  there  is  a  risk 
of  losing  the  fawns  in  spring.  In  the  autumn  the  deer  will 
eat  mushrooms,  bird-dung  round  the  moulting-places,  and 
even  young  mice  or  birds.  They  are  very  fond  of  human 
urine  and  are  so  excited  by  the  smell  that  they  will  charge 
a  man  who  is  making  water  near  them.  The  natives  in  the 
camps  are  very  careful  in  consequence.  They  use  urine  to 
attract  the  deer  when  troublesome  and  it  is  the  most  effective 
means  of  reviving  an  exhausted  deer  on  a  long  journey. 

If  snow  falls  late,  it  is  bad  for  the  deer  as  they  cannot  walk 
on  ice.  The  herd  must  not  remain  too  long  in  one  place 
because  their  constant  scraping  hardens  the  snow  so  that 
they  cannot  reach  the  moss.  Large  herds  move  every  few 
hours  and  are  therefore  leaner  than  small  ones.  Hence 
sufficient  space  is  essential.  But  summer  pastures  will  stand 
much  more  wear  and  tear  than  the  winter  ones.  The  deep 
snow  of  the  forests  makes  it  almost  impossible  for  the  deer 
to  find  food  there.  Trespassing  is  a  serious  offence,  as  once 
two  herds  get  entangled  it  is  very  difficult  to  separate  them. 

Calving  goes  on  from  mid-March  to  the  end  of  May  in  the 
herds,  three  weeks  earlier  than  in  the  wild  state,  with  the 
result  that  many  fawns  die.  During  summer  the  bucks  are 
kept  away  from  the  fawns  and  does.  Does  often  rut  in  their 
first  year.  Hence  the  rapid  increase  of  a  herd.  The  Chuk- 
chee  are  careful  in  selecting  animals  for  breeding.     Gelded 


deer  or  barren  does  alone  are  driven.  In  an  average  herd 
the  percentage  is  12  breeding  bucks,  10-15  sledge-deer,  and 
60  or  70  half -grown  fawns.  In  a  large  herd  there  will  be 
30  bucks  to  1.000  does.  Wolves  are  the  chief  enemies.  Hoof- 
swelling,  caused  by  walking  on  dry  ground,  is  the  principal 
malady.  The  first  frost  cures  it,  but  it  often  causes  a  number 
of  deaths.  Ticks  are  troublesome.  Far  more  serious  is  the 
scabies  that  carries  off  whole  herds  when  it  pays  its  periodical 

The  herds  require  careful  attention  during  the  breeding- 
season  and  still  more  in  summer  when  they  are  troubled  by 
insects.  Even  the  women  then  help  to  watch  them,  as  the 
least  thing  causes  a  stampede.  The  herdsmen  are  often  bound 
to  stay  two  or  three  nights  without  sleep.  In  summer  they 
have  to  carry  everything  themselves,  including  the  skins  of 
slaughtered  animals,  and  the  weight  the  less  active  will 
carry  so  as  to  leave  the  others  free  is  astounding.  But  in 
winter  a  couple  of  boys  can  watch  a  herd  for  weeks.  Deer 
are  caught  with  the  lasso,  and  a  good  lasso  is  worth  a  fat  buck. 
The  Yukaghir  on  the  Omolon.  who  only  use  their  animals 
for  riding,  keep  them  in  sheds  during  winter,  allowing  them 
two  small  graylings  a  day  for  food.  Poor  men  anxious  to 
own  a  herd  take  service  with  a  big  breeder.  They  must  work 
hard,  but  with  luck  may  own  100  deer  after  five  years. 

The  least  timid  animals  are  chosen  for  driving  and  broken 
in  during  the  first  year.  With  the  Lamut  deer  this  is  easy, 
but  often  very  difficult  with  the  Chukchee.  One  animal  is 
used  for  a  pack-sledge,  two  for  driving.  One  woman  will 
lead  10  or  15  sledges  fastened  one  behind  the  other,  but 
a  wealthy  family  may  travel  with  40-60  in  several  lines. 
With  good  going  well-fed  deer  will  do  200  miles  in  two  days, 
but  they  need  instant  rest  if  tired,  and  spare  animals  are 
therefore  usually  taken.     Dogs  have  far  more  endurance. 

Thanks  to  their  herds,  the  Chukchee  are  much  better  off 
than  the  fish-eating  tribes  and  they  are  always  called  in  to 
stave  off  famine,  as  well  as  to  supply  food  in  ordinary  times— 
at  the  Anyui  fair,  for  instance.     But  the  highest  famine  price 


for  a  deer  is  1 65.  Sd.  and  their  ordinary  value  is  only  a  cake 
of  brick-tea  and  a  packet  of  tobacco  in  fair  time.  On  the 
Anadir,  with  its  salmon  and  its  wild  deer,  a  shilling  is  the 
usual  price. 

The  Eskimo  are  not  a  Siberian  tribe,  but  a  number  of  them 
have  crossed  over  from  America  and  have  settled  along  the 
west  coast  of  Bering  Strait  from  Cape  Dezhneva  to  Cape 
Bering,  either  in  villages  of  their  own  or  in  common  with  the 
Maritime  Chukchee,  with  whom  they  are  identical  in  material 
civilization.  They  are  most  numerous  near  Cape  Dezhneva 
and  between  Capes  Chaplin  and  Ulyakhpen.  They  number 
about  1,600,  including  those  on  St.  Lawrence  Island  and  the 
Diomede  Islands.  Their  language  is  said  to  be  closely  con- 
nected with  that  of  the  Aleuts.  Most  of  those  round  Cape 
Chaplin  speak  a  little  English.  They  smoke  as  much  tobacco 
and  drink  as  much  spirits  as  they  can  obtain.  When  their 
customs  and  beliefs  differ  from  those  of  the  Maritime  Chuk- 
chee, they  are  of  American  origin.  A  dying  Eskimo  is  placed 
in  a  specially  built  snow  hut  or  tent,  according  to  the  time 
of  year.  He  is  carried  in  by  a  back  entrance,  all  signs  of 
which  are  then  removed.  He  is  visited  occasionally  by 
relatives,  but  at  the  approach  of  death  he  is  left  altogether 
alone.  The  Eskimo  are  a  maritime  people  and  hold  that 
their  dead  live  under  the  sea.  The  road  thither  is  very 
difficult  and  a  soul  may  die  again  on  the  way,  but  once  there 
a  man  has  all  he  can  desire. 


Territory. — The  Kor}-ak  tribe  extends  from  the  Stanovoi 
Mountains  to  the  sea  and  on  the  west  side  of  Kamchatka  as 
far  south  as  lat.  55°  N.  The  north-west  boundary  of  their 
habitat  is  now  the  River  Varkhalan  ;  they  used  to  extend 
along  the  west  shore  of  the  Sea  of  Okhotsk. 

Name  of  tribe. — The  name  '  Koryak  '  is  not  used  by  them- 
selves, but  probably  derived  from  neighbouring  tribes.  Its 
derivation  is  quite  uncertain. 


Racial  affinities  and  language. — They  seem  to  be  closely 
related  by  race  and  language  with  the  Chukchee,  but  their 
language  is  not  reduced  to  writing.  There  are  four  main 
dialects  of  it  spoken  by  (1)  the  Koryaks  of  north  Kamchatka, 
(2)  the  Reindeer  Koryaks  of  Kamenskoe,  &c,  (3)  the 
Alutor  Koryaks,  (4)  the  Kereks  in  the  NE.  The  main  division 
of  the  Koryaks  is  into  Reindeer  and  Maritime  Koryaks  ;  the 
manner  of  life  of  these  two  branches  of  the  race  has  made 
them  develop  on  wholly  different  lines  ;  there  is  little 
intermarriage  between  them  because  of  the  difference  of  their 
mode  of  housekeeping  ;  the  Reindeer  Koryaks  intermarry 
with  the  Chukchee,  the  Maritime  Koryaks  with  the  Kam- 
chadals.  The  Reindeer  Koryaks  have  advanced  less  far  in 
civilization,  but  they  are  generally  given  a  better  character. 
The  Reindeer  Koryaks  are  mainly  in  Gizhiga  and  Petropav- 
lovsk  ;  there  are  few  in  Anadir,  none  in  Okhotsk. 

Numbers. — In  the  census  of  1897  the  population  was 
distributed  as  follows  : 

Gizhiga       .      .  4,434  (2,389  Reindeer  :  2,045  Maritime) 

Petropavlovsk  2,675  (1,284  Reindeer  :  1,391  Maritime) 

Okhotsk     .      .  244  (        0  Reindeer :  244  Maritime) 

Anadir       .      .  177  (      75  Reindeer :  102  Maritime) 

Total      .      .     7,530 

The  population  increases  in  the  intervals  between  epidemics 
and  famines,  but  the  Koryaks  have  suffered  from  many 
scourges  :  syphilis  (called  the  Yukaghir  or  Chuvanzi  disease, 
because  of  the  route  by  which  it  came  to  them  from  Russia), 
two  forms  of  arctic  hysteria,  small-pox,  and  measles,  the 
spread  of  which  was  attributed  by  them  to  their  shortage  of 
professional  shamans. 

Relations  with  Russians. — The  Russians  first  came  into 
contact  with  them  about  1640.  Until  1712  the  Koryak 
refused  to  recognize  Russian  sovereignty,  but  not  until  1764 
did  their  opposition  cease.  From  1649,  when  the  fortress  of 
Anadirsk  was  built,  the  Cossacks  tried  to  exact  tribute  from 


them.  But  wars  have  now  ended  for  them,  even  with  the 
Chukchee,  their  secular  foe.  The  relations  between  the 
Russians  and  Koryaks  are  not  altogether  happy  ;  the  Koryaks 
resent  the  Cossacks'  demand  for  transport  free  of  cost,  and 
see  in  every  traveller  an  official,  and  so  an  object  of  suspicion. 
They  like  better  the  Americans,  who  practise  '  contraband  ' 
hunting  of  sea-animals  ;  from  them  they  suffer  no  harsh 
exactions,  and  receive  supplies  much  more  cheaply  than 
from  the  Russians.  They  also  appreciate  their  alcoholic 
liquors.  Few  Maritime  Koryaks  and  no  Reindeer  Koryaks 
have  learnt  Russian. 

Social  institutions. — The  Russian  Government  have  divided 
them  into  clans,  but  these  were  territorial  designations  and 
have  become  misleading  owing  to  migrations.  Their  own 
social  unit  is  the  family,  though  families  related  by  marriage 
have  a  tendency  to  draw  together  ;  there  are  even  cases  of 
fraternizing  with  unrelated  families ;  members  of  such 
alliances  were  formerly  bound  to  help  one  another  in  war, 
but  the  absence  of  war  has  abolished  this  aspect  of  the 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — The  Koryaks  arc 
described  by  Jochelson  as  below  average  height.  They  arc 
well  developed,  have  broad  shoulders  and  good  muscles. 
Their  hair  is  usually  black  (78  per  cent,  of  the  men,  and 
53  per  cent,  of  the  women  have  black  hair),  bald  heads  are 
rare  among  them.  Their  eyes  are  narrow,  but  not  peculiarly 
Mongolian  ;  their  nose  is  of  moderate  width  ;  they  have 
little  hair  on  the  face  ;  their  skin  is  bronze  coloured.  Their 
speech  is  slow,  and  they  talk  in  a  lazy  manner  unless  they 
are  excited.  Travellers  give  very  diverse  accounts  of  their 
character,  but  their  marked  characteristics  seem  to  be 
obstinacy,  austerity,  and  dauntlessness.  They  are  said  to  be 
hard  to  deal  with,  unless  their  customs  are  understood  ; 
if  displeased,  they  are  churlish,  rude,  and  quarrelsome  ;  if  in 
good  humour,  they  are  friendly  and  jocose.  They  are  truthful 
and  straightforward  and  do  not  flatter.  They  are  hospitable 
and  treat  their  families  and  animals  with  kindness. 


Art. — They  have  highly-developed  artistic  skill,  and  make 
carvings  in  wood,  ivo^,  whalebone,  and  horn.  Among  their 
arts  are  basketwork  decoration  and  rugs  made  of  reindeer- 
skin,  with  ornamental  patterns  of  the  black  and  white  fur  of 
the  young  reindeer. 

Occupations. — Their  main  occupations  are  fishing,  hunting, 
and  reindeer-breeding.  Fishing  takes  place  only  during  the 
summer  months.  The  fishing  implements  are  of  a  primitive 
kind,  little  affected  by  the  Russians.  They  are  as  yet  un- 
familiar with  seine-nets.  They  use  nettle-fibre,  which  they 
spin  in  a  primitive  and  imperfect  manner.  They  use  skin- 
boats  constructed  like  those  of  the  Eskimo  ;  a  large  boat  is 
nearly  30  ft.  long  with  a  maximum  width  of  about  8  ft. 
between  the  gunwales.  It  is  covered  usually  with  skins  of 
the  thong-seal,  the  use  of  which  is  spreading  to  other  parts 
where  the  walrus  is  disappearing.  The  Koryaks  steer  with 
an  oar  ;  they  are  not  really  good  seamen,  though  better  than 
the  Kamchadals.  They  also  use  kayaks  (boats  for  one  man) 
and,  in  northern  Kamchatka,  dug-outs.  Hunting  for  sea- 
mammals  is  of  great  importance  ;  they  hunt  for  ground-seal 
and  ringed-seal  throughout  the  year,  except  in  the  winter 
months  ;  the  principal  period  for  thong-seal  is  September  and 
October.  Their  chief  weapon  is  the  harpoon,  but  they  also  use 
the  mallet  for  stunning  those  creatures  that  have  fallen  asleep 
on  shore.  During  the  fishing  season  the  Koryaks  are  too 
busy  to  trouble  about  the  seals.  The  whale  industry  is  long 
dead  :  the  Koryaks  do  not  go  far  enough  out  to  sea,  but 
American  whalers  occasionally  bring  them  dead  whales,  from 
which  the  skin,  blubber,  and  whalebone  have  been  removed 
The  only  animals  killed  by  the  Koryaks  on  land  for  the  sake 
of  food  are  wild  reindeer  and  big-horns.  There  are  but  few 
of  the  former  ;  the  latter  are  hunted  principally  in  autumn. 
They  hunt  animals  chiefly  for  their  fur  ;  the  bear  (which  also 
furnishes  food)  is  hunted  four  times  in  the  year,  (1)  in  summer, 
when  it  goes  fishing  ;  (2)  in  autumn,  when  it  hunts  berries  ; 
(3)  in  winter  in  its  lair  ;  and  (4)  in  spring  in  self-defence. 
Hunters  among  the  Maritime  Koryaks  train  dogs,  which  do 


not  drag  sledges,  to  attack  bears.  Foxes,  especially  red  foxes, 
are  clubbed,  trapped,  shot,  and  poisoned.  There  are  some 
grey  wolves  in  the  tundra.  The  sable  is  now  rare  ;  so  are 
the  ermine,  otter,  and  glutton. 

Reindeer- breeding  is  still  in  a  primitive  stage  (see  pp.  103-106) . 
It  may  not  be  more  than  a  thousand  years  old.  Left  to 
themselves,  the  reindeer  readily  return  to  the  wild  state. 
However,  the  Koryaks  will  domesticate  wild  reindeer.  Rein- 
deer-breeding necessitates  a  wandering  life,  as  the  herds  in 
search  of  their  food  paw  up  all  the  snow.  The  use  of  dogs 
for  driving  is  probably  very  old.  Dog-breeding  necessitates 
settled  habits,  as  it  requires  large  stocks  of  animal  food  for 
the  winter.  The  main  food  of  the  Siberian  dogs  consists 
of  fish.  The  Maritime  Koryaks  (as  also  the  Yukaghir)  build 
roomy  sheds  at  the  side  of  their  houses  for  their  dogs.  When 
spring  comes  and  the  sledge  is  no  longer  employed,  the  dogs 
are  given  no  food,  but  have  to  hunt  for  it.  They  are  very 
fierce  while  driven.  Should  a  team  of  dogs  meet  harnessed 
reindeer  they  will,  unless  prevented,  inevitably  tear  them  in 
pieces,  and  a  meeting  of  two  dog-teams  will  lead  to  a  serious 
encounter,  if  not  forcibly  prevented.  The  average  number 
of  dogs  possessed  in  one  household  among  Maritime  Koryaks 
is  ten. 

Dwellings  and  furniture. — The  habitation  of  the  Reindeer 
Koryaks  is  an  outer  tent  with  an  inner  tent  for  sleeping  ; 
the  Koryak  tent  usually  has  three  or  four  inner  sleeping- 
tents  (polags)  of  small  dimensions  (6  ft.  square  and  4  or  5  ft. 
high)  partitioned  off  with  light  poles  and  skin  curtains. 
A  camp  seldom  contains  more  than  three  tents.  They  have 
four  main  removals  in  the  year  :  (1)  in  October  they  put  up 
their  tents  in  the  river  valleys  under  the  protection  of  high 
banks  among  poplar  and  aspen  groves  ;  (2)  in  spring,  at  the 
end  of  March,  before  the  fawning  period  begins,  they  descend 
to  the  open  tundras  on  the  lower  courses  of  rivers  ;  (3)  in  July 
they  ascend  the  mountains  to  be  near  the  river  sources  ; 
(4)  in  autumn,  at  the  time  of  the  fawn-festival,  they  return 
from    the    ridges    to    the    tundras    and    river- valleys.     The 


Maritime  Koryaks  have  their  dwellings  underground,  or  half 
underground  :  one  type  is  described  as  like  an  hour-glass  in 
shape  ;  these  are  permanent  buildings  of  wood,  varying  in 
size  ;  they  used  to  be  more  spacious  than  now.  Among  the 
Kereks  as  many  as  twenty-five  persons  often  live  in  one 
house.  During  the  winter  the  lower  entrance  is  closed,  and 
the  house  is  approached  by  a  ladder,  or  rather  a  log  of  wood 
with  holes  for  the  feet,  inconveniently  small  for  Europeans. 
The  descent  into  the  interior  is  disagreeable  when  there  is 
a  smoky  fire.  In  the  summer-time  the  ladder  is  removed. 
They  import  metal  kettles,  prizing  especially  copper  ;  for 
water  they  use  skin  or  wooden  buckets.  The  atmosphere 
inside  the  huts  is  such  that  the  Koryaks  usually  sleep  naked  ; 
sometimes  their  clothes  are  put  outside  for  the  parasites  to 
freeze  off  them.     The  fire-drill  is  only  used  ceremonially. 

Clothing,  food. — They  dress  in  deer-skin,  their  costume  con- 
sisting of  a  kotlanka  (or  frock),  trousers,  boots,  and  leggings. 
In  summer  their  clothes  are  of  dressed  skins,  in  winter  of  skins 
with  the  hair  remaining.  They  are  passionately  fond  of 
tobacco,  which  they  chew,  but  rarely  smoke.  A  favourite 
intoxicant  is  made  of  fly-agaric,  a  kind  of  fungus,  but  women 
never  take  it ;  it  is  a  poison,  which  if  taken  in  very  great 
quantities  will  kill ;  it  is  used  by  shamans  to  produce  an 
ecstatic  state.  Brandy,  though  forbidden,  finds  its  way 
among  them  :  it  is  popular,  especially  with  older  people. 
The  ordinary  food  is  fish,  reindeer  meat,  dried  salmon,  and 
seal's  blubber  with  rancid  oil. 

Birth,  marriage,  and  death. — The  mortality  of  infants  up  to 
one  year  is  enormous,  and  the  number  is  increased  by  putting 
to  death  any  child  whose  mother  dies  during  or  soon  after 
confinement,  as  artificial  feeding  is  impossible. 

The  penalties  for  unchastity  are  very  severe,  and  illegitimacy 
is  almost  unknown.  Polygamy  is  rare  ;  the  '  elder  '  in  the 
settlement  is  often  polygamous,  but  most  cases  of  polygamy 
are  due  to  the  observance  of  the  levirate  law,  by  which  a  man 
has  to  marry  his  deceased  brother's  wife  or  owing  to  the 
barrenness  of  his  first  wife.     The  future  bridegroom  has  to 


serve  for  his  bride  ;  the  period  of  service  may  be  anything 
from  six  months  to  three  years.  If  a  man  does  not  please 
his  future  father-in-law  he  can  be  sent  away  after  many 
years  of  service  without  any  reward.  Money  cannot  be 
substituted  for  service.  The  preliminaries  of  marriage  are 
arranged  by  the  '  matchmaker  '  (asking  one).  The  actual 
ceremony  is  by  seizure. 

When  a  Reindeer  Koryak  dies  his  body  is  dissected  to  find 
the  probable  cause  of  death,  and  the  Maritime  Koryaks  stab 
the  dead  man  in  order  that  the  child  in  whom  his  body  is 
reincarnated  may  not  die  of  the  same  illness.  The  dead  are 
burnt,  except  by  the  Kereks,  who  let  down  their  dead  in 
funeral  attire  into  the  sea.  Parenticide  is  now  abandoned  ; 
even  the  tradition  has  disappeared  in  some  places ;  but  it 
seems  to  have  been  a  general  practice,  in  order  to  spare  the 
sick  and  aged  unnecessary  suffering.  Now  relatives  take 
good  care  of  a  dying  man. 

Other  customs. — Only  clothing  and  ornaments  are  personal 
property  among  the  Koryaks.  The  wooden  '  guardians  ?, 
household  appurtenances,  house,  nets,  and  skin- boats  are 
family  property.  The  reindeer  are  the  property  of  all  the 
members  of  the  family,  but  the  movements  of  the  herd  are 
directed  by  the  father.  The  Koryak  can  count  better  than 
the  Chukchee.  He  has  two  bases  of  computation,  5  and  20. 
and  in  counting  uses  both  hands  and  feet. 

Religion. — The  Maritime  Koryaks  have  adopted  Chris- 
tianity and  renounced  many  of  their  superstitions ;  the 
Reindeer  Koryaks  retain  much  of  their  primitive  religion, 
as  do  also  the  Maritime  Koryaks  of  Penzhina  Bay  and  north 
of  Alutorski  Cape.  However,  the  combined  influence  of  traders 
and  Cossacks  has  made  them  abandon  a  good  deal  of  their 

It  was  among  the  Koryaks  that  the  shamans  were  first 
affected  by  Christianity.  In  the  Koryak  houses  are  wooden 
images  of  '  guardians  '  ;  they  receive  homage  as  containing 
a  vital  principle  in  them  and  having  had  incantations  pro- 
nounced over  them. 


The  chief  religious  festivals  among  the  Koryaks  are  : 

(1)  Among  the  Maritime  Koryaks  : 

(a)  Whale  festival. 

(b)  Putting  away  the  whale-boat  for  winter. 

(c)  Launching  the  skin-boat. 

(d)  Wearing  of  masks. 

(2)  Among  the  Reindeer  Koryaks  : 

(a)  Ceremony  on  the  return  of  the  herd  from  summer 


(b)  Fawn  festival. 

(c)  Reindeer  races. 

(3)  Ceremonies  common  to  both  ; 
(a)  Bear  festival. 

(6)  Wolf  festival. 

(c)  Ceremonies  in  connexion  with  fox-hunting. 
The  reindeer  races  are  religious,  in  honour  of  the  One  on 
High,  while  dog-races  and  foot-races  are  secular.  Every 
owner  of  a  large  reindeer  herd  arranges  races  once  a  year, 
usually  about  the  close  of  winter.  Sometimes  the  host  sacri- 
fices the  reindeer  that  he  has  been  racing, 


Territory. — The  Yukaghir  originally  extended  from  the 
Lena  to  the  Anadir  and  from  the  Verkhoyansk  Range  to  the 
Arctic  Ocean  ;  now  they  are  principally  to  be  found  above 
Verkhne-Kolimsk,  along  the  valleys  of  the  Yasachnaya  and 
Korkodon,  and  in  the  region  of  Alaseiskoe.  They  are  a  very 
ancient  tribe,  who  have  been  gradually  pushed  northwards. 
They  were  once  very  numerous,  for  tradition  says  that  the 
northern  lights  were  the  reflection  of  their  innumerable 

Name  of  tribe. — The  word  Yukaghir  is  not  used  by  them- 
selves :  it  seems  to  be  a  Tungus  word,  judging  by  its  termina- 
tion, and  probably  means  the  '  distant  ones  '.  Sauer  says 
that  they  call  themselves  Andon  Domni,  which  is  probably 
an  incorrect  rendering  of  Odud  omni  the  '  people  '. 

Racial    affinities    and    language. — It    is    difficult    to    trace 



strong  racial  affinities  for  them  ;  most  of  them  now  speak 
the  Tungus  language,  but  there  are  survivals  of  their  own 
tongue,  which  seems  to  have  been  highly  inflected,  and  very 
rich  in  suffixes  and  case-endings  :  it  has  two  dialects,  one 
spoken  by  Yukaghir  and  Lamuts  who  live  with  them  on  the 
Rivers  Korkodon  and  Yasachnaya,  the  other  spoken  by  the 
Yukaghir  and  Yukaghirized  Tungus  on  the  tundra  between 
the  Rivers  Kolima  and  Indigirka. 

Numbers. — The  Yukaghir  are  dying  out :  their  marriages 
are  mostly  sterile,  and  they  are  a  sickly  breed.  The  latest 
figures  of  their  numbers  give  them  only  754,  of  whom  388  are 
males.  With  them  must  be  included  the  Chuvanzi,  a  branch 
of  the  Yukaghir  who  live  round  Markovo,  and  who  number 
453  (236  males),  but  they  have  either  become  Russianized 
or  have  fallen  much  under  the  influence  of  Chukchee  or 

Divisions. — The  Anaul  formed  a  division  of  the  Yukaghir 
living  on  the  Anadir  ;  they  were  fishermen  and  had  no 
reindeer  ;  they  have  partly  died  out  and  partly  become 
Russianized.  The  tribal  name  Odul  has  been  adopted  by  the 
Yukaghirized  Tungus  of  the  tundra  ;  the  Tungusized  Yukaghir 
call  themselves  Dutki.  There  has  been  much  intermarriage 
with  Tungus  and  Lamut,  so  that  the  regular  type  of  Yukaghir 
has  largely  disappeared.  Like  the  Chukchee  and  Koryaks 
they  can  be  divided  into  Reindeer  and  Maritime  tribes  ;  they 
have  also  been  classified  from  the  names  of  the  rivers  along 
which  they  lived  (viz.  Alaseya,  Omolon,  Kolima,  Kongina, 

Relations  with  Russians.  Social  institutions. — At  the  time 
of  the  Russian  conquest  they  had  a  well-organized  clan  system, 
but  it  is  now  much  in  decay.  The  only  tribal  unity  that  they 
seem  to  recognize  is  that  they  do  not  make  war  among  them- 
selves ;  no  traditions  survive  among  them  of  a  common  tribal 
ancestor.  Such  clan  system  as  they  had  was  disregarded  by  the 
Russians,  T,vho  have  composed  clans,  which  are  little  more  than 
associations  for  paying  tribute.  The  Russian  law  allows  the 
natives  to  settle  their  own  affairs  (with  the  exception  of  capital 


offences,  such  as  murder  and  mutilation)  according  to  the 

customs  of  the  people  concerned.    The  elder,  who  under  the 

Russian  system  replaces  the  '  old  man  ',  is  authorized  to  punish 

ihe  clansmen  with  imprisonment  and  even  physical  chastise- 

tent.     Severity,  however,  is  not  often  required  among  the 

iw-abiding  and  timid  Yukaghir.      Under  the  native  system 

:he  prominent  personages  in  the  clan  life  were  the  ;  old  man  ' , 

ie  shaman,  the  '  strong  man ',  and  the  first  hunter  :    the 

ist  two  offices  may  be  combined  in  the  same  personage,  and 

Dhe  last  is  the  only  one  whose  duties  have  not  fallen  at  all 

into  desuetude.     There  used  to  be  a  class  of  captive  slaves 

called  po  (hired  labourers  were  called  nicil)  ;    among  these 

women  had  a  better  position  than  men. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — The  Yukaghir  are 
of  short  stature  ;  on  the  average  they  are  the  shortest  people 
in  north-east  Siberia  ;  the  men's  waists  are  small,  and  they 
have  slender  and  supple  figures,  moving  and  dancing  grace- 
fully. The  women  have  stout  waists,  and  as  a  rule  short 
clumsy  figures  ;  but  there  are  no  really  stout  figures  among 
either  sex.  Their  children  look  very  weak  and  sickly,  and 
their  young  men  effeminate.  The  hair  of  the  Yukaghir  is 
usually  dark  brown  ;  the  hair  on  his  face  is  scanty  ;  the  eyes 
are  dark-brown  and  more  widely  open  than  those  of  Mongol 
peoples ;  the  complexion  is  either  brown  as  the  Chukchee's 
and  Koryak's,  or  it  is  yellow  as  the  Tungus'.  They  are  the 
most  timid  tribe  in  Siberia,  and  will  submit  to  any  treatment 
te  avoid  an  oath  or  curse.  They  are  hospitable  to  a  fault, 
a  fact  which  is  known  by  their  neighbours  the  Yakuts,  who 
make  protracted  stays  among  them  and  eat  up  their  fish. 
Though  mild  and  kindly,  they  do  not  readily  forgive  an  offence, 
but  their  fear  of  Russian  administration  is  such  that  they  do 
not  often  commit  murder  ;  for  the  same  reason  they  are  accus- 
tomed to  render  services  to  the  Russians  without  any  remunera- 
tion. A  desire  to  imitate  the  Russians  has  led  them  to  wash, 
and  soap  is  popular  among  them  ;  at  the  same  time  they 
regard  lice  on  the  person  as  a  sign  of  good  health.  They  are 
extraordinarily  honest  and  truthful,  and  will  spare  no  effort 


to  pay  off  the  debts  incurred  by  themselves  or  inherited. 
Despite  irregularities  in  their  lives,  they  are  bashful  and 
modest  in  speech. 

Occupations. — Their  chief  occupations  are  hunting  and  fish- 
ing. They  hunt  the  squirrel,  glutton,  and  fox,  in  order  to 
obtain  in  their  place,  tea,  sugar,  and  other  requirements.  The 
rifle  has  taken  the  place  of  the  bow.  They  capture  reindeer 
while  swimming,  having  discovered  the  place  where  they  will 
come  down  the  river  when  driven  by  mosquitoes.  The  hunters 
kill  reindeer  for  the  entire  group  that  accompanies  them 
during  the  period  of  the  chase  ;  for  fear  of  the  evil  eye  they 
give  a  portion  of  their  booty  to  strangers.  Their  only  domestic 
animals  are  dogs  and  reindeer  ;  they  do  not  breed  horses  or 
cattle,  but  the  Yasachnaya  Yukaghir  hire  horses  of  the  Yakuts 
for  the  squirrel-hunting  season.  They  use  hemp  for  fishing- 
nets,  and  horsehair  has  replaced  the  flexible  willow-branches 
that  they  previously  used.  They  have  such  wide-meshed 
nets  that,  as  they  say  themselves,  '  a  bear  could  get  through.' 
But  they  have  other  means  of  catching  fish.  A  bad  fishing 
season  and  a  bad  reindeer  year  lead  them  almost  to  starvation. 
They  say  when  the  fishing  is  bad  :  '  there  is  an  old  man  in 
Verkhne-Kolimsk,  whose  heart  is  harder  than  Russian  iron, 
and  he  won't  let  the  salmon  out  of  his  cave.' 

Dwellings  and  food. — They  live  during  summer  in  conical 
tents  (urus)  made  of  thin  poles,  and  during  winter  in  small 
houses  made  of  hewn  logs.  They  are  more  particular  than 
the  Koryaks  or  Yakuts  about  their  food,  and  will  not  'eat 
rancid  meat.  They  are  great  smokers.  Such  funds  as  are 
over  from  the  purchase  of  tobacco  are  used  for  buying  brandy, 
but  they  will  not  drink  alone.  They  share  their  pleasure  with 
the  whole  family,  including  infants  in  arms. 

Birth,  marriage,  and  death. — New-born  children  used  to  be 
killed  if  the  mother  died  in  childbirth.  Sterility  was  regarded 
as  a  punishment  sent  by  dead  relations,  and  the  shaman 
would  be  resorted  to  in  order  that  such  resentment  might  be 

Before   marriage,   chastity  is   not   expected   of   girls,  but 


indiscriminate  bestowal  of  their  favours  is  disapproved. 
Marriage  is  endogamic,  but  there  are  strict  laws  prohibiting 
marriage  between  near  relatives.  A  man  serves  three  years 
for  a  bride,  and  if  he  is  then  rejected  has  no  compensation. 
Polygamy  is  practised  :  a  man  will  sometimes  spend  part  of 
the  year  in  the  house  of  one  father-in-law,  and  the  rest  in  that 
of  another.  The  Tungus  and  Yukaghir  have  to  some  extent 
borrowed  one  another's  marriage  customs. 

The  dead  used  formerly  to  be  placed  on  platforms  which 
were  raised  on  poles.  In  the  Kolima  district  it  was  a  custom 
to  distribute  the  flesh  and  bones  among  the  relatives  of  the 
deceased  :  these  were  dried  and  put  in  leather  bags  and  then 
worn  as  amulets,  called  '  grandfathers  '. 

Religion. — A  nominal  Christianity  has  not  affected  the 
Yukaghir  much.  Shamanism  has  a  much  greater  hold  upon 
him.  Even  the  Christian  Yukaghir  has  no  Church  ceremony 
till  a  year  or  more  after  his  marriage. 


Territory. — The  name  may  be  applied  either  strictly  to  the 
principal  tribe  who  inhabit  the  peninsula  of  Kamchatka, 
or  more  vaguely  to  some  wandering  tribes  north  of  the  penin- 
sula. There  are  some  tribes,  too,  like  the  Palanzi,  who  live  in 
the  ostrog  north  of  Tigilski,  and  the  Olyutorski,  who  live  along 
the  Pacific  behind  the  cape  which  bears  their  name,  who 
have  close  racial  affinities  with  them  and  the  Ukinzi  between 
Cape  Ozerni  and  the  River  Timlata. 

Name. — The  name  Kamchadal  is  given  them  by  the  Russians : 
they  call  themselves  Itelmen,  and  are  called  Konchalo  by 
the  Koryaks. 

Racial  affinities  and  language. — The  race  is  mainly  a  half- 
breed  between  the  aborigines  and  Siberian  emigrants  or 
escaped  convicts  :  the  pure  Kamchadals  are  very  rare.  They 
have  many  attributes,  especially  in  costume  and  customs,  in 
common  with  the  Mongols,  but  share  more  with  the  dwellers 
in  north-east  Siberia  and  north-west  America.  They  are 
found    in    the    Kuril   Islands,    especially   in   Shumshu,    the 


northernmost  of  the  group.  The  language  cannot  be  assigned 
to  any  known  group  :  it  is  very  guttural,  and  has  many  in- 
flexions and  prefixes.  The  vocabulary  is  very  poor,  there 
being  only  one  word  for  the  sun  and  moon.  It  is  most  spoken 
in  the  south  and  in  the  north  about  Penzhinskoe,  where  it  is 
purest  ;  but  it  is  disappearing,  and  most  of  the  tribe  speak 

Divisions. — There  are  three  divisions  of  the  Kamchadals  : 
one  group  occupies  the  valley  of  the  River  Kamchatka, 
the  second  the  west  coast  from  Bolsheryetsk  to  Oblukovina, 
the  third  the  Kurils,  where  they  are  found  together  with  the 

Numbers. — Drink  and  illnesses  have  reduced  the  population. 
The  last  figures  give  2,805,  of  whom  1,415  are  males,  but  it 
is  not  known  precisely  which  tribes  were  included  in  this 
numeration,  and  the  real  Kamchadals  are  possibly  onl}- 
half  that  number.  They  are  not  a  very  prolific  people  : 
women  usually  have  only  four  or  five  children. 

Relations  with  Russians. — Since  the  suppression  of  the  revolt 
in  1731  the  Kamchadals  have  been  quiet,  and  they  are  now 
largely  Europeanized  :  European  have  taken  the  place  of 
native  dances  ;  the  native  costume  is  discarded  for  something 
like  that  of  a  Russian  peasant ;  they  have  also  largely  given 
up  their  extreme  fondness  for  dirt. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — The  true  Kani- 
chadal  in  general  is  below  the  common  height ;  his  figure 
is  round  and  squat,  his  eyes  small  and  sunken,  his  cheek- 
bones prominent,  his  nose  fiat,  his  hair  black,  his  beard  scanty, 
his  complexion  brown  or  yellow.  He  is  mild-tempered  and 
honest,  an  easy  prey  to  traders  who  deceive  him,  apt  to  get 
drunk,  lazy,  and  apathetic,  with  no  thought  for  the  future, 
but  careless  and  indifferent.  They  used  to  be  a  warlike  and 
revengeful  people,  but  they  are  now  more  remarkable  for  their 
readiness  to  oblige  and  then  hospitality.  Lansdell  attributes 
to  them  a  custom  of  tactfully  relieving  themselves  of  a  guest 
whose  protracted  stay  threatens  to  exhaust  their  stock  by 
serving  him  a  dish  called  tolkootha — the  dish  is  found  among 

KAMCHADALS  •       119 

Tungus  tribes  also — which  consists  of  a  mixture  of  meat, 
fish,  and  vegetables.  The  guest  takes  the  hint  and  departs 
the  next  day. 

Occupations. — Their  chief  occupations  are  fishing,  especially 
for  salmon,  and  hunting.    The  efforts  of  the  Government  to 
introduce  cattle-breeding  have  failed ;    agriculture  does  not 
flourish,  as  corn  will  not  ripen  (except  round  Klyuchevskoe)  ; 
gardening  prospers  better,  as  roots  will  grow.    Their  method 
for  catching  salmon,  as  described  by  Demidoff ,  is  to  fix  rows 
of  inclined  birch-stakes  across  a  river  from  one  bank  to  the 
other  with  only  a  narrow  aperture  on  one  side  for  canoes. 
Attached  to  these  poles  a  little  below  the  surface  of  the  water 
and  a  few  yards  apart,  are  set  two  or  three  long  wicker  baskets 
according  to  the  width  of  the  river.    The  fish,  which  come  up, 
are  unable  to  proceed  on  account  of  the  stakes  :    they  then 
make  their  way  through  the  gaps  leading  into  these  baskets, 
out  of  which  inward- turned  spikes  prevent  them  from  escaping. 
When  the  natives  go  to  collect  their  catch,  they  lift  part  of 
the  basket  out  of  the  water  and  secure  the  fish  with  iron- 
edged  gaffs  through  a  small  door  at  the  top.     In  this  way 
they  manage  to  take  2,000  fish  in  a  day.    They  seldom  use 
seines,  but  almost  always  common  nets,  made  of  packthread 
purchased  from  the  Russians,  or  of  nettle-fibre  :    they  also 
use  harpoons.    They  hunt  reindeer,  big-horns,  foxes,  otters, 
beavers,    hares,    and    sables  :     special   methods    have    been 
adopted  to  protect  the  last,  which  would  otherwise  become 
extinct.    They  trap  bears,  and  show  great  patience  when  they 
lie  in  ambush  for  them.    Their  chase  is  attended  with  certain 
superstitions  :    they  abstain  from  washing  themselves,  they 
are  careful  not  to  pronounce  the  name  of  an  animal  that  they 
hunt  for  fear  of  ill-luck,  and  not  to  make  the  sign  of  the  cross. 
The}'  invoke  their  god  Kutkhu  and  sacrifice  in  his  honour 
the   first  animal  that  they  catch.     They  are  indefatigable 
walkers,  but  are  also  experts  in  driving  sledges  and  training 
sledge-dogs.     When  in  a  team,  the  most  intelligent  dog  is 
selected  as  leader  ;    the  others  are  harnessed  two  and  two 
behind.     A  cry  of  tag-tag  makes  them  turn  to  the  right,  a  cry 


of  kougha  sends  them  to  the  left.  The  harness  is  of  leather  : 
it  is  passed  over  the  dog's  breast  and  is  joined  to  the  sledge  by 
a  strap  3  ft.  long  in  the  manner  of  a  trace.  If  the  driver 
strikes  the  ice  with  his  stick  (oshtol)  they  go  to  the  left ;  if 
he  strikes  the  side  of  the  sledge  they  go  to  the  right ;  if  he 
places  the  stick  in  front  of  the  sledge,  they  stop.  The  dog- 
sledge  is  practically  their  only  means  of  communication 
and  horses  are  very  rare. 

Dwellings. — Like  many  other  Siberian  tribes  they  live  in 
different  kinds  of  huts  during  summer  and  winter.  The 
former  (balagans)  are  erected  on  posts  about  12  or  14  ft.  high  ; 
their  conical  roof  is  covered  with  a  kind  of  thatch  made  of 
bark  ;  the  cooking  is  performed  in  the  middle  of  the  room 
where  they  all  eat  and  sleep  together  ;  there  are  no  windows 
and  the  doors  are  so  low  that  they  scarcely  admit  the  light. 
The  staircase  is  merely  a  beam  jagged  in  an  irregular  manner  ; 
if  it  is  turned  with  the  steps,  or  notches,  inward,  it  is  a  sign 
that  the  residents  are  not  at  home.  One  advantage  of  the 
height  of  the  house  is  that  they  can  dry  their  fish  out  of  the 
reach  of  the  dogs.  Their  winter  houses  (izbas)  are  of  wood  : 
they  are  made  of  trees  placed  horizontally  with  the  interstices 
filled  Math  clay  ;  the  interior  usually  has  two  rooms,  which  can 
be  warmed,  as  in  Russian  inns  and  small  houses,  by  a  stove 
set  between  them.  The  hmdes  are  tidy  and  often  decorated. 
Windows  are  made  of  skins  of  salmon  or  bladders  of  various 

Clothing,  food. — Lesseps  in  1790  describes  their  costume 
as  an  outer  garment  (parka)  made  of  skins  of  deer  or  other 
animals,  tanned  on  one  side,  and  long  breeches  of  similar 
leather  ;  next  the  skin  is  worn  a  very  short  and  tight  shirt  of 
nankin  or  cotton,  the  woman's  being  of  silk.  They  wore  fur 
caps.  A  recent  traveller,  Demidofr,  says  that  now  their 
costume  resembles  that  of  a  Russian  peasant — a  blue  cotton 
shirt  under  an  old  brown  jacket,  broad  trousers  tucked  into 
topboots,  and  a  military  cap.  Their  boots  are  made  of  rein- 
deer hide,  the  soles  being  stitched  on  to  seals'  throat-skins 
round  the  calves.     In  summer  they  wear  boots  of  goats'  or 


dogs'  skins  tanned.  Their  principal  food  is  dried  fish ;  some 
fish  they  allow  to  become  putrid  in  a  hole  and  then  eat  them. 

Birth,  marriage,  and  death. — Births  take  place  in  public,  with 
relatives  and  neighbours  gathered  round.  Infanticide  is  prac- 
tised, women  giving  their  undesired  offspring  alive  to  the 
dogs  ;  if  twins  are  born,  one  of  the  pair  must  be  killed  ; 
so  must  a  child  born  during  a  storm  unless  incantation  can 
remove  the  evil  that  would  ensue. 

A  man's  bride  is  usually  selected  from  the  next  village, 
not  from  his  own  ;  he  serves  for  her,  but  is  given  compensa- 
tion if  he  fails  in  his  suit.  He  has  to  capture  his  bride  as 
among  the  Koryaks,  but  the  ceremony  is  more  of  a  reality. 
Marriage  is  only  forbidden  between  parents  and  children. 
Virginity  is  not  required  in  a  bride.     Divorce  is  easy. 

The  dead  are  eaten  by  dogs  ;  children  are  buried  in  hollow 
tree -trunks. 

Religion  and  superstition. — Their  chief  god  is  Kutkhu,  the 
supreme  being  ;  his  wife  with  them  is  called  Kakee,  his  son 
Trel-Kutan,  his  daughter  Shi-Shakels.  Their  mythology  is 
crude  and  obscene.  Volcanoes  and  hot  springs  are  the 
abode  of  evil  spirits  (Kamuli).  Sacrifices  are  not  made  to 
the  gods,  but  to  the  many  spirits  good  and  bad  with  which 
they  people  heaven  and  earth,  the  greatest  of  whom  is 
Pikhlyash.  There  is  little  professional  Shamanism  among 
them  ;  every  old  woman  and  woman  in  man's  clothes  is 
counted  as  a  witch.  There  was  a  class  among  them  called 
Koekchuk,  who  were  treated  as  women  ;  it  is  possible  that 
they  were  captive  slaves  who  were  purposely  rendered 
effeminate  to  make  them  less  dangerous,  and  who  therefore 
were  made  to  share  the  woman's  life.  Certain  trades  were 
regarded  as  unmanly  ;  if  a  man  became  a  tailor  or  shoemaker, 
he  was  regarded  as  a  koekchuk. 


Territory. — The  Gilyaks  extend  along  the  coast  of  the 
mainland  on  either  side  of  the  mouth  of  the  Amur,  from 


Tug  ur  ski  Bay  on  the  north-west  to  the  Mamia  Rinzo  Strait  on 
the  south-east,  and  they  also  occupy  the  northern  part  of 
Sakhalin  down  to  lat.  50°  10''  N.  on  the  west  shore  and  to  about 
lat.  51°  N.  on  the  east  shore,  the  southernmost  settlements 
being  respectively  Porokolan  and  Chamr-vo. 

Name. — The  name  by  which  they  know  themselves  is 
Nibch  (  =  the  men),  but  the  Russians  have  called  them 
Gilyaks,  a  modification  probably  of  the  Chinese  designation 
for  the  Kilor  or  Kiler. 

Racial  affinities  and  language. — They  present  one  of  the 
greatest  ethnological  problems  in  all  Asia.  They  have  been 
variously  claimed  as  a  branch  of  the  Ainu  (the  race  that 
inhabits  south  Sakhalin  and  Yezo),  of  the  Tungus,  and  of  the 
Tartars — an  error  which  is  repeated  in  the  name  ;  Gulf  of 
Tartary  '  applied  to  the  sea  between  Sakhalin  and  the  con- 
tinent. Some  of  their  characteristics  have  been  regarded 
as  Caucasian,  and  it  has  been  supposed  that  there  was  a  large 
infusion  of  the  blood  of  Russian  adventurers  from  the  seven- 
teenth century.  Were  it  not  for  their  language  they  might 
be  regarded,  so  far  as  their  physiognomy  and  bone  structure 
goes,  as  a  branch  of  the  Tungus  ;  in  many  of  their  customs 
they  approximate  to  their  neighbours,  such  as  the  Olcha  and 
Goldi,  but  their  speech  is  quite  distinct  and  cannot  be  classified. 
It  is  an  isolated  tongue  like  that  of  the  Koryaks  and  Yukaghir, 
and  even  one  unacquainted  with  the  language  can  on  the 
most  casual  training  distinguish  it  from  any  Tungus  speech. 
It  is  harsh  and  full  of  consonants ;  sibilant,  nasal,  and  guttural 
sounds  prevail.  It  has  many  words  borrowed  from  other 
languages,  but  apart  from  its  vocabulary  it  bears  no  close 
resemblance  to  any  Mongol  language.  As  far  as  language 
goes  therefore,  the  Gilyaks  must  be  classed  among  the  Palaeo- 
Siberians,  but  it  is  possible  that  they  are  a  people,  like  the 
Normans  and  Bulgarians,  who  have  learnt  the  language  of 
the  conquered,  and  that  a  great  infusion  of  Mongol  blood 
in  the  past  has  profoundly  modified  the  real  type. 

Divisions. — There    are,    however,    three   types    of    Gilyak 
physiognomy,    one    of    which    approximates    to    the    Ainu, 


another  to  the  Mongol  or  Tungus,  while  the  third  is  typically 
Gilyak.  There  is  also  a  geographical  distinction  between  those 
of  the  mainland  and  the  two  tribes  which  live  on  Sakhalin, 
Smerenkur  on  the  west,  and  Tro  on  the  east. 

Numbers. — Their  numbers  are  now  4,649,  of  whom  2,556 
are  males.  They  are  dying  out.  Their  women  have  few 
children.  Six  is  considered  a  large  family.  Because  the 
population  is  dwindling,  clans  have  had  sometimes  to  adopt 
individuals  or  whole  groups. 

Relations  with  Russians. — The  Gilyaks  have  been  less  spoilt 
by  civilization  than  many  tribes.  They  have  been  known 
to  the  Russians  since  the  seventeenth  century.  For  years 
they  succeeded  in  keeping  the  Chinese  traders  out  of  their 
land,  and  they  have  not  become  demoralized  by  intercourse 
with  Chinese  and  Japanese.  But  the  acquisition  of  Gilyak 
land  by  Russian  settlers  has  not  had  a  good  effect  on  them 

Social  institutions. — They  have  a  highly  developed  clan 
organization,  with  its  common  fire,  common  enemies,  common 
obligations  of  revenge,  and  common  thusind.  The  last  is  the 
name  for  the  compensation  exacted  in  place  of  blood -revenge 
and  in  recompense  for  certain  crimes. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — The  typical  Gilyak 
is  below  medium  height,  of  stronger  build  than  his  Ainu  or 
Tungus  neighbours  ;  he  has  a  well-developed  chest,  moder- 
ately broad  shoulders,  short  neck  and  fairly  big  head,  but 
small  hands  and  feet.  There  is  no  superfluity  of  fat.  The 
complexion  is  brown,  the  hair  is  less  abundant  than  that  of  the 
Ainu,  but  grows  longer  on  the  head  and  more  freely  on  the 
face  than  among  the  Mongols  and  Tungus.  The  eyes  are 
small  and  sparkle  with  a  dull  light,  the  lips  have  been  called 
\  voluptuous  ',  the  nose  is  rather  flat,  the  cheek-bones  pro- 
minent, and  the  eyebrows  are  bushy.  They  do  not  shave 
the  head,  but  wear  the  hair'  tied  up  in  a  thick  tail  or  in  tresses. 

They  are  an  energetic  people  and  temperate  in  the  use  of 
spirits.  They  prize  their  tribal  and  individual  liberty. 
Their  principal  faults  seem  to  be  avarice  and  covetousness, 
and  the  islanders  have  had  a  reputation  for  theft.     Their 


aloofness  from  civilization  has  made  them  less  ready  than 
other  tribes  to  adopt  habits  of  cleanliness. 

Occupations. — The  men's  occupations  are  mainly  hunting, 
fishing  (for  sturgeon,  salmon,  &c),  and  trading.  They  are 
adventurous  in  hunting  the  bear,  but  their  courage  is  not 
equal  to  entering  the  water,  and,  though  fishermen,  the 
Gilyaks  cannot  as  a  rule  swim.  They  are  expert  in  the  use 
of  bow  and  arrows,  and  are  good  mountaineers.  In  rowing 
the  Gilyaks  scull,  but  pull  the  oars  alternately.  In  fishing 
they  use  in  some  parts  gill- nets  and  seines,  and  in  others 
scoop-nets  ;  for  their  nets  they  use  the  stalks  of  the  nettle  in 
place  of  flax. 

The  man's  work  takes  him  much  from  home  ;  a  great  deal 
of  work  at  home  is  done  by  women,  who  occupy  a  low  menial 
position.  Slaves  are  bought  from  the  Ainus  and  Goldi. 
They  do  not,  however,  hold  or  sell  their  own  people  as  slaves. 
There  are  not  many  slaves,  as  a  female  slave  costs  more  than 
a  wife.  The  slaves  have  no  rights  at  all ;  they  have  to  perform 
the  heaviest  housework,  hewing  wood  and  drawing  water. 

Dwellings. — Their  yurta  is  a  wooden  house,  of  which  the 
interior  is  often  divided  into  an  ante-room  and  an  inner 
room  which  is  inhabited.  In  the  centre  of  the  room  burns 
the  fire  with  a  hole  in  the  roof  above  it  for  the  smoke  to  escape. 
The  windows  are  of  fish-skin.  The  walls  and  the  floors  are 
made  of  trunks  of  trees,  the  interstices  being  filled  up  with 
birch  bark  or  leaves,  and  the  roof  being  covered  with  birch 
bark.  They  used  to  domesticate  ermine  to  kill  the  rats  and 
mice,  and  the  Manchus  supplied  them  with  cats  at  a  high 
price,  but  always  castrated  so  as  to  keep  the  monopoly  in 
their  hands.  Their  winter  dwellings  are  in  small  groups  of 
from  two  or  three  to  a  dozen.  In  39  villages  Collins  counted 
140  houses. 

Clothing,  food. — In  winter  they  dress  in  dog-skins  or  the 
skins  of  the  fox  or  wolf.  In  summer  they  wear  fish-skin, 
which  has  given  them  the  name  of  Ywpitatse  ('  fish-skin 
people  ')  among  the  Chinese.  They  often  wear  blouses  of 
Chinese  pattern.     Their  boots  are  of  seal-skin  or  sometimes 


cotton.  Men  and  women  dress  much  alike,  but  the  woman's 
garb  is  distinguished  by  metal  disks  round  the  bottom  of 
their  blouses.  The  skins  of  salmon  are  stripped  off  very 
dexterously  ;  they  are  then  beaten  with  a  mallet,  so  as  to 
remove  the  scales  and  render  them  supple.  This  gives  them 
waterproof  clothing.  They  live  almost  entirely  on  fish. 
But  occasionally  they  eat  animals  killed  in  the  chase  and 
even  dogs,  as  do  the  Ainu  and  American  Indians.  The  fish 
is  prepared  with  herbs,  roots,  and  train  oil ;  sometimes  they 
procure  a  little  millet  or  rice  from  the  Manchu  and  Japanese 
in  exchange  for  furs.  They  do  not  cultivate  the  ground 
themselves.  The  use  of  bread,  tea,  salt,  and  sugar  they  have 
learnt  from  the  Russians.  Bread  is  regarded  as  a  very  great 

Marriage  and  death. — Chastity  is  not  demanded  in  a  bride. 
Marriage  is  exogamic.  There  seems  to  be  no  settled  form  of 
marriage,  and  there  is  a  certain  amount  of  polygamy.  The 
price  of  a  bride  is  the  chief  bar  to  polygamy,  but  it  is  on  the 
other  hand  a  great  incentive  to  industry. 

Death  is  supposed  to  result  from  the  action  of  evil  spirits. 
Burial  rites  are  of  an  imposing  character.  The  body  is  first 
burnt  on  a  funeral  pyre,  and  a  small  wooden  house  is  erected 
over  the  ashes  after  they  have  been  carefully  collected. 
The  deceased's  favourite  dog,  which  has  been  previously 
fattened,  is  killed  over  the  grave. 

Other  customs  :  the  tiger  and  the  bear. — If  a  man  has  been 
killed  by  a  tiger,  superstition  forbids  any  ceremonies  at  the 
burial  of  his  body.  The  tiger  is  much  feared,  and  his  appear- 
ance is  supposed  to  portend  evil.  Their  most  characteristic 
ceremonies  are  connected  with  the  bear,  who  is  called  Mqfa 
(Chief  Elder).  There  is  a  bear  cage  near  every  village,  and 
in  January  of  each  year  there  is  a  solemn  bear-sacrifice,  and 
at  other  times  a  procession  in  which  the  bear  takes  a  less 
exacting  part.  A  bear  must  not  be  killed  bjr  surprise,  for 
they  fear  his  posthumous  anger  ;  they  always  catch  or  kill 
him  in  fair  fight.  It  is  regarded  as  a  happy  death  to  be 
killed  by  a  bear. 


Religion  and  superstition. — The  highest  benevolent  god  of 
the  Gilyaks  is  Ytsigy  according  to  Schrenk,  but  according  to 
Sternberg  they  call  him  Kurn,  by  which  name  also  they  call  the 
Universe.  The  '  owner '  of  the  mountain  is  called  Pal 
the  '  owner  '  of  the  sea  is  Tol.  Every  natural  object  has 
a  life  of  its  own  and  an  '  owner  '.  In  their  belief  also  Sak- 
halin conceals  an  immense  deity.  There  are  besides  a  great; 
number  of  spirits,  good  and  bad.  Such  is  their  belief  in  the] 
gods'  ordering  of  the  world  that  they  will  not  save  a  man 
from  drowning  for  fear  of  thwarting  the  will  of  a  heavenly 
power.  Ancestor-worship  permeates  their  religion,  and 
supports  their  clan-system.  They  have  many  taboos,  and 
among  the  most  rigid  of  their  restrictions  is  the  custom  by 
which  no  one  but  a  clansman  may  remove  fire  from  a  yurta. 
This  is  so  strict  that  a  stranger  must  always  be  careful  to 
finish  a  pipe  before  he  leaves  a  house.  The  Gilyak  seem  to 
have  been  indebted  to  the  Goldi  for  much  in  their  ritual, 
customs,  ideas,  and  art. 

Among  the  Gilyaks  of  Sakhalin  are  a  number  of  isolated 
settlements  of  Oroke  (aTungus  tribe).  The  southern  half  of 
the  island  is  inhabited  by  the  Ainus  (a  Palaeo-Siberian  tribe), 
but  their  habitat  is  entirely  included  in  the  part  that  belongs 
to  Japan. 

Ostyaks  or  Yenisei 

Territory. — This  tribe  lives  along  the  course  of  the  middle 
Yenisei  and  its  tributaries  between  Miroyedikha,  near  the 
mouth  of  the  Lower  Tunguska,  and  Yeniseisk.  They  are 
most  numerous  about  Sumarokovo.  They  were  probably 
once  more  widely  extended. 

Name  of  the  tribe. — Though  called  Ostyak,  they  have 
nothing  to  do  ethnologically  with  the  Ostyaks  of  the  Ob 
basin.  They  do  not  even,  it  appears,  belong  to  the  Ural- 
Altaic  stock.  They  call  themselves  Tindigyet,  Kanacket  and 
Din  (people). 

Racial  affinities  and  language. — Their  origin  presents  a 
difficult  problem,  which  seems  to  defy  solution.     They  are 


thought  to  be  a  remnant  of  the  primitive  people  who  were 
the  original  inhabitants  of  Siberia,  the  centre  of  whose 
civilization  was  further  south.  Then  language  is  unlike  any 
other  known  tongue.  Most  of  the  river-names  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  the  River  Tom  belong  to  it. 

Numbers. — They  are  now  not  as  many  as  1,000  in  number, 
and  they  are  diminishing.  Their  principal  foes  have  been 
syphilis  and  alcohol,  both  of  which  have  had  deplorable 
effects  in  reducing  their  numbers. 

Relations  with  Russians. — They  have  become  deeply  in 
debt  to  Russian  traders,  sometimes  owing  as  much  as  500 
roubles.  They  do  not  intermarry  or  have  sexual  intercourse 
with  Russians. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — Their  faces  are  of 
two  types  :  one  is  short  and  broad  with  heavy  cheek-bones, 
typically  brachycephalic,  the  other  approximates  more  to  the 
Aryan  type,  and  is  longer.  Their  hair,  though  dark,  is  finer 
and  lighter  than  that  of  any  other  inhabitants  of  the  Yenisei 
valley.  They  have  not  the  chief  Mongolian  characteristics  : 
e.g.  their  eyes  are  not  oblique. 

Occupations. — Their  principal  occupations  are  hunting, 
fishing,  and  reindeer-breeding,  but  they  have  only  taken  to 
the  last  in  recent  times.  They  hunt  elk  and  squirrels.  For 
fishing  they  use  canoes,  not  made  of  birch  bark,  but  hollowed 
out  of  the  trunks  of  trees.  A  bad  season  in  fishing  or  squirrel- 
hunting  impoverishes  them  badly,  and  epidemics  of  anthrax 
among  their  herds  have  brought  about  the  decay  of  the  tribe. 
But  despite  their  poverty  they  seem  a  contented  people. 
During  the  fishing  season  they  live  in  birch-bark  tents  along 
the  river  banks. 

Costume. — The  special  feature  to  notice  is  the  men's  habit 
of  wearing  a  handkerchief  round  the  head,  as  is  so  often  done 
by  women  in  other  lands. 

Religion. — Nominally  members  of  the  Russian  Orthodox 
Church,  they  have  remained  comparativehr  faithful  to  their 
old  traditions. 


The  Aleuts  are  found  in  the  Aleutian  Islands,  which  now 
belong  to  America,  but  a  few  of  them  are  found  in  the  Com- 
mander Islands,  off  the  coast  of  Kamchatka.  They  are  of  low 
stature,  but  well  shaped  ;  they  have  dark  faces,  black  eyes, 
long  black  hair  and  short  necks.  They  are  nominally  Chris- 
tians, but  seem  to  have  assimilated  more  of  the  bad  habits 
of  professing  Christians,  than  of  their  doctrines. 

11.    The  Neo-Siberian  Tribes 

(i)    Finno-Ugrian  Tribes 

Territory. — The  Lapps  in  Russia  occupy  the  whole  of  the 
interior  of  the  Kola  Peninsula,  and  some  live  on  the  coast 
in  the  Ponoi  district.  They  extend  west  into  Norway,  Fin- 
land, and  Sweden. 

Name. — Their  own  name  for  themselves  is  Same,  and  for 
their  country  Sameland. 

Racial  affinities  and  language. — The  Lapps  are  a  branch  of 
the  Finno-Ugrian  tribe.  Their  language  in  some  respects 
resembles  the  Mordvinian  speech,  but  the  general  system  of 
conjugation  and  declension  is  like  Finnish,  from  which  tongue, 
however,  it  differs  phonetically  bj^  its  great  number  of  diph- 
thongs and  consonants. 

Numbers. — In  1897  there  were  2,040  Lapps  in  Russia,  of 
whom  1,590  were  in  the  Kola  Lapp  district  and  450  in  the 
Ponoi  district. 

Divisions. — Among  the  divisions  in  which  the  Lapps  are 
grouped  are  the  Lyavozersk  Lapps  and  Ponoi  Lapps.  The 
former,  numbering  349,  are  in  four  villages,  and  have  been 
little  influenced  by  Russian  manners  ;  the  latter,  numbering 
450,  are  in  six  villages,  and  have  been  much  influenced  by 
Russian  customs.  The  two  groups  speak  a  different  dialect 
from  one  another  and  are  mutually  very  suspicious.  They 
are  not  divided,   as  in  Finland,   into  Fisher  and  Reindeer 

LAPPS  129 

Lapps,  but  each  family  as  a  rule  practises  both  occupations, 
tending  reindeer  in  winter  and  fishing  in  summer. 

Relations  with  Russians. — Different  parts  of  the  country 
have  been  differently  affected  ;  the  most  Russified  have  been 
the  dwellers  in  the  Ponoi  district,  and  along  the  coast  generally 
there  has  been  much  interbreeding  with  Russians  and  Nor- 
wegians. The  race  is  losing  its  national  characteristics  and 
is  degenerating.  In  1897  the  population  of  the  whole  of  Kola 
Peninsula  included  6,020  Russians,  850  Finns,  230  Norwegians, 
as  opposed  to  2,040  Lapps. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — The  Lapps  are 
the  shortest  and  most  brachycephalic  race  in  Europe.  They 
are  a  dwarfish  and  thick-set  people.  In  complexion  they  are 
generally  fair,  with  long  shaggy  hair,  which  is  usually  dark- 
brown,  with  a  good  deal  of  yellowish  hair  on  the  face,  the 
beard  being  often  cut  to  a  point.  The  eyes  are  narrow,  but 
set  horizontally,  the  nose  is  broad,  the  mouth  big,  the  chin 
pointed,  the  cheek-bones  high  and  prominent,  but  not  so 
prominent  as  those  of  the  Samoyedes,  who  altogether  have 
a  more  Mongolian  look.  They  are  cleaner  and  have  more 
pleasant  manners  than  the  Samoyedes  ;  they  are  not  intel- 
lectual, and,  unlike  the  Finnish  Lapps,  from  whom  they  also 
differ  in  dialect  and  creed,  they  are  unable  to  read  and  write. 

Occupations. — In  spring  and  summer  the  Lapp  families 
engage  in  fishing,  especially  for  salmon,  in  regions  which  the 
custom  of  each  village  defines  fairly  closely.  The  summer 
villages  are  found  from  10  miles  north  of  Voroninsk  eastward 
to  Paitspahk  and  the  sources  of  the  River  Ponoi,  and  south 
to  the  Umpjavr  Lake.  Many  of  them  migrate  to  the  sea- 
coast  with  their  reindeer.  Lake  Imandra,  on  the  old  post- 
road  from  Kola  to  Kandalaksha,  both  in  summer  and  winter, 
has  Lapp  villages  around  it.  Reindeer-breeding  is  their  great 
occupation,  but  they  are  very  unscientific  and  unbusinesslike 
in  their  attention  to  it.  In  summer,  when  they  do  not  want 
the  deer  for  travelling  purposes,  they  let  them  roam  in 
freedom,  on  the  bare  heights  of  the  interior,  when  they  become 
half -wild,  breed  at  will,  and  sometimes  stray  away  altogether. 


In  winter  they  are  left  near  the  winter  village,  feeding  on 
the  reindeer  '  moss  '  which  they  reach  through  the  snow 
by  pawing  with  their  hoofs.  There  they  stay  till  some  time 
in  May,  when  the  new-born  calves  can  be  marked.  The 
consumption  of  the  lichen  necessitates  the  removal  of  the 
Lapps'  villages  every  15  or  20  years,  but  a  minor  migration 
takes  place  each  year  in  April  or  May,  when  they  pack  up  the 
windows  and  more  valuable  things,  abandon  the  villages, 
and  go  off  to  their  summer  quarters.  Each  family  generally 
possesses  from  fifty  to  two  hundred  reindeer,  but  real  inde- 
pendence is  only  attained  by  those  who  have  as  many  as  three 
hundred.  Really  rich  men  have  a  thousand  or  more,  but 
such  wealth  does  not  make  them  change  their  simple  life. 
The  boat-sledge  in  which  the  reindeer  is  driven  is  called 
kereoshka  ;  the  Lapps  drive  without  the  harray  or  long  pole 
which  is  customary  among  other  reindeer  peoples.  Generally 
speaking  their  sledges  and  methods  of  driving  are  inferior  to 
those  of  the  Samoyedes.  In  winter  the  Lapps  do  some 
business  in  the  transport  of  goods.  They  trade  with  Russians 
and  Zirians,  who  exchange  knives,  powder,  and  other  objects 
of  barter  for  their  reindeer- skins.  They  leave  all  enterprise 
on  the  sea  itself  to  the  Russians  and  Karelians. 

Dwellings. — The  settlements  of  the  Lapps  are  called 
pagosts.  They  have  summer  and  winter  villages,  the  former 
near  the  sea-coasts  and  lakes,  the  latter  near  the  forests, 
where  they  herd  their  deer.  The  summer -dwelling,  called 
a  viezha,  resembles  a  Samoyede  chum,  but  is  not  covered  with 
skins,  but  with  branches,  tree-bark,  and  turf.  The  winter- 
dwelling,  called  a  twpa,  is  a  small,  smoky,  sod-covered  timber 
hut,  some  150  to  200  square  ft.  in  area.  These  huts  are 
always  in  groups  or  villages.  A  good  example  of  a  Lapp 
settlement  is  the  village  of  Lyavozerski,  on  the  west  of  the 
Lujavr  lake  and  on  the  south  bank  of  the  Varmyok  stream. 
In  1887  it  contained  61  males  and  63  females,  in  19  woode 
huts  and  7  turf  huts.  The  church  was  nearly  two  miles 
the  west,  where  the  village  had  originally  been,  until  want 
wood  and  lichen  caused  its  transference. 





LAPPS  131 

Clothing  and  food. — In  summer  the  Lapps  dress  like  Russian 
peasants,  common  features  being  a  grey  cloth  jacket  and  high 
woollen  cap  with  a  tassel  at  the  top.  There  is  nothing 
distinctive  about  the  women's  dress,  which  is  usually  a  calico 
sarafan.  The  Lapp  has  no  strong  prejudices  in  favour  of 
a  national  costume,  and  is  ready  to  wear  whatever  he  can  get 
hold  of.     In  winter  they  wear  garments  of  reindeer  skin. 

he  pesk  is  a  fur  garment  with  the  hair  outside,  somewhat 
ike  the  Samoyede  suvik,  but  without  the  mittens  being 
ttached  to  the  garment.  Instead  of  a  hood  they  have 
detachable  caps.  They  wear  short  fur  boots,  known  as 
hadzhi,  and  also  longer  boots  made  of  reindeer-skin,  called 
yerra,  with  the  hair  removed  above  the  knee. 

Throughout  the  winter  they  have  for  food  reindeer-flesh 
and  dried  and  salted  fish.  At  various  times  they  get  snow- 
chickens,  water-fowl  and  their  eggs,  and  berries. 

Religion. — They  have  assimilated  Russian  religion,  just 
as  they  have  assimilated  Russian  customs,  but  it  may  be 
questioned  whether  the  adoption  is  not  even  more  external. 
They  have  a  name  for  being  very  superstitious,  and  an 
association  of  wizardry  and  vaticination  goes  with  the  name 
of  the  Lapp. 


Territory. — The  bulk  of  the  people  of  this  name  live  in  the 
Governments  of  Olonets  and  Arkhangel,  and  there  are  con- 
siderable numbers  at  Tver  and  Novgorod.  The  country  which 
bears  their  name  is  part  of  the  district  of  Kem  in  the  Govern- 
ment of  Arkhangel,  lying  to  the  north  of  Pomorland  or 

Racial  affinities  and  language. — They  are  closely  allied  to 
the  Finns,  but  are  a  distinct  tribe,  and  show  certain  differences 
as  the  result  of  having  come  much  more  under  Russian  than 
Swedish  influence.  They  are  first  mentioned  in  the  ninth 
century.  The  tribe  to  which  they  belong  overran  most  of 
the  south-west  coast  of  the  White  Sea  till  the  fourteenth 
century,  when  they  spread  eastward  and  occupied  the  banks 

i  2 


of  the  Dvina.  They  speak  a  tongue  like,  but  distinct  from,  the 
Finnish  of  Finland  :  the  spoken  tongue  is  corrupt  and  has 
become  mixed  with  a  number  of  Russian  words,  but  among 
the  Karelians  farther  to  the  south-west  was  collected  the 
Kalevala,  the  great  Finnish  epic. 

Relations  with  Russians. — They  have  come  much  under 
Russian  influence,  and,  unlike  the  Finns,  have  never  been  sub- 
ject to  any  other  European  nation.  But  owing  to  their 
remoteness  they  have  preserved  their  customs  more  than  their 
western  neighbours.  Those  of  them  who  live  near  Russian 
settlements  can  usually  speak  Russian,  though  they  speak 
their  own  language  among  themselves. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — The  Karelians 
resemble  Russians  :  their  eyes  are  usually  blue,  their  hair 
is  brown  or  ruddy  ;  their  forehead  is  low  with  hair  clipped 
down  over  it,  level  with  their  eyebrows  and  hanging  down 
evenly  behind.  They  are  slighter  in  build  and  better  pro- 
portioned than  the  Finns.  They  show  themselves  more 
enterprising,  vivacious,  and  sociable,  but  they  exhibit  less 

Occupations. — Their  occupations  are  very  various.  Agri- 
culture means  a  great  struggle  against  the  forces  of  nature. 
The  best  and  most  lucrative  employment  is  the  felling,  trans- 
port and  floating  of  timbers  for  the  saw-mills.  River-  and 
lake-fishing  provide  only  a  small  income,  and  have  nothing 
but  local  importance  ;  but  they  also  do  sea-fishing  in  the  Gulf 
of  Kandalaksha  for  salmon,  herring,  and  marine  animals. 
Hunting  of  game  in  the  forests  was  profitable,  but  it  has  died 
out  since  the  law  in  1892  against  trapping.  The  people  require 
good  guns  to  secure  success  again.  The  carrying  trade  with 
Finland  was  more  prosperous  before  the  Finns  opened  a  shop 
in  almost  every  village,  a  step  which  greatly  reduced  their 
trade  with  the  Karelians. 

Houses  and  furniture. — The  Karelian  houses  are  built  on 
a  sort  of  permanent  scaffolding  :  they  are  reached  by  ladders. 
The  door  is  generally  on  the  left,  and  a  corridor  divides  the 
rest  of  the  habitation  from  the  store -shed.     On  the  ground 


are  sheep-pens  and  cattle-sheds.  The  kitchen  utensils  are 
poor,  consisting  as  a  rule  of  nothing  but  a  kettle,  a  water-tub 
and  a  few  spoons.  Only  those  who  are  well-to-do  have  any- 
thing like  a  samovar,  but  earthenware  is  imported  from 

Clothing  and  food. — The  men  wear  an  outer  dress  of  grey 
cloth,  somewhat  like  the  smock  frock  of  the  Little  Russians, 
underclothing  of  coarse  linen,  and  boots  of  yellowish  leather 
with  leggings  attached.  Their  head-dress  is  anything  that 
they  can  find  in  the  way  of  hats  or  caps.  The  women's  smock- 
frock  is  much  like  that  of  the  men,  and  they  wear  a  sarafan 
of  striped  or  printed  calico.  For  footgear  they  have  shoes 
and  for  headgear  kerchiefs  or  headbands.  In  winter  long 
sheep-skin  coats  are  worn.  Those  who  traffic  across  the  border 
of  their  district  are  apt  to  imitate  town  fashions. 

Their  principal  food  is  ukha  or  tchi  (a  soup  of  fish  and 
vegetables).  Most  mix  their  flour  with  bark  and  straw.  On 
holidays  they  eat  fish-cakes  (ribniki) :  on  fast-days  their  fare 
is  salted  mushrooms  and  edible  fungi  stewed  with  turnips  and 
potatoes.  When  the  harvest  is  good,  they  brew  a  sort  of 
country  beer,  called  braga,  but  vodka  is  not  drunk  among 
them.  Tea  is  a  luxury  of  the  rich,  but  is  much  appreciated 
when  obtained. 

Religion. — They  belong  to  the  Orthodox  Church. 


Territory. — This  important  tribe  is  found  in  the  Governments 
of  Perm,  Vologda,  and  Arkhangel :  it  inhabits  part  of  the 
Pechora  district  of  the  Arkhangel  province,  and  the  whole  of 
the  Ust-Sisolsk  district  and  two-thirds  of  the  Yarensk  district 
of  the  province  of  Vologda.  Its  centre  is  Ust-Izhma.  Formerly 
the  Zirians  extended  further  west. 

Name. — There  are  many  forms  in  which  their  name  is  spelt : 
they  are  known  variously  as  Syryenians,  Zyrenians,  Sirianians, 
Zirianians,  Zyrians  and  Zirians.  Their  own  name  for  them- 
selves, however,  is  Kami. 

Racial  affinities   and   language. — Like   the  Permyaks   and 


Votyaks,  they  are  part  of  the  Permian' branch  of  the  Finns. 
Their  language  was  early  reduced  to  writing,  but  they  have 
no  literature  nor  written  memorials.  It  is  sufficiently  like  the 
language  of  the  Permyaks  for  the  two  peoples  to  be  mutually 
intelligible.  It  is  freely  supplemented  by  Russian  words  and 
has  a  Samoyedic  element  in  the  vocabulary  associated  with 
reindeer,  for  they  have  derived  from  the  Samoyedes  the  art 
of  breeding  and  herding  deer.  A  grammar  of  their  tongue 
has  been  published  by  the  celebrated  Finn,  Castren. 

Numbers. — It  is  estimated  that  there  are  85,000  altogether 
in  European  Russia,  and  another  1,000  in  Asia  along  the 
lower  Ob.  In  1899  they  formed  60  per  cent,  of  the  population 
of  the  Pechora  district,  distributed  as  follows  :  1,780  in  Ust- 
Kozhvinskoe,  1,730  in  Kevda,  5,590  in  Krasnoborsk  and  12,000 
in  Mokhcha,  the  total  number  being  21,120. 

Relations  with  Russians. — In  the  ninth  century  the  Finns 
and  Russians  were  living  in  amity  together  in  north  Russia, 
the  Finns  paying  tribute.  The  Zirians  have  been  in  constant- 
relations  with  the  Russians,  have  learnt  much  from  them, 
and  are  likely  to  be  absorbed  by  them.  It  seems  probable 
that  they  will  lose  their  language  :  they  sing  Russian  songs 
without  any  idea  of  their  meaning,  and  have  adopted  much 
that  is  Russian  in  customs  and  costume.  The  most  important 
change  is  that  they  are  ceasing  to  be  nomadic.  They  have 
assimilated  the  village  institutions  of  the  Russians. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — The  Zirians  arc 
a  people  of  medium  stature  and  robust  frames  :  they  are 
blond  and  grey  eyed  :  they  do  not  differ  greatly  in  appearance 
from  an  ordinary  peasant  of  Arkhangel.  The  best  Zirians 
are  those  that  dwell  about  Ust-Izhma,  and  those  who  live  at 
Mokhcha.  These  are  vigorous  and  vivacious,  and  devote 
themselves  with  success  to  commerce.  The  other  Zirians  are 
apt  to  be  inert  and  unenterprising.  Outwardly  the  Zirians 
are  very  devout,  and  most  of  their  villages  have  a  well-built 
church.  They  are  noted  for  their  hospitality  even  when 
they  are  very  poor.    Their  morals  are  inclined  to  be  easy. 

Occupations. — Their  chief  source  of  prosperity  is  reindeer- 


breeding,  an  occupation  in  which  they  have  been  engaged 
for  a  very  long  time.  The  prosperity  of  the  Mokhcha  and 
Izhma  Zirians  can  be  seen  from  the  numbers  of  reindeer  which 
they  possess.  In  the  Pechora  district  in  1896  there  were 
276,315  head  of  reindeer.  Of  these  the  Samoyedes  owned 
49,950,  the  Mokhcha  Zirians  194,520,  the  Russians  and  other 
Zirians  35,245.  A  herd  of  500  reindeer  is  calculated  to  bring 
in  £50  per  annum  clear  profit,  and  single  Zirians  possess  as 
many  as  4,000  reindeer  each.  They  employ  Samoyedes  on 
wages  as  labourers  and  herdsmen.  They  seldom  know  them- 
selves how  many  deer  they  possess.  They  slaughter  about 
one-fifth  of  their  stock  annually.  The  Zirians  are  also  engaged 
in  agriculture,  hunting,  and  trade.  The  cross-Ural  trade  in 
the  wares  of  the  Samoyedes  is  very  largely  in  their  hands. 

Dwellings. — The  Zirians  live  in  log-houses  (kerkas),  of  much 
the  same  style  as  those  of  Russian  peasants.  The  house  has 
two  rooms,  one  a  rather  untidy  living-room,  with  a  Russian 
stove  (i.  e.  a  brick  stove  built  into  the  wall)  in  it ;  the  second, 
a  reception-room,  only  used  on  particular  occasions,  with 
a  Dutch  stove  in  it.  Between  the  two  rooms  is  an  entrance- 
hall,  which  opens  into  a  poviet  or  general  store-shed.  This 
store-shed  is  entered  by  a  sloping  incline  of  logs.  Often  a 
steam  bath-house  is  found  near  by,  beside  a  river.  The  Zirians 
use  the  bath-house  several  times  in  the  week,  and  in  summer 
plunge  straight  from  the  bath-house  into  the  river.  Their 
villages  are  often  of  substantial  wooden  houses.  In  places  like 
Ust-Izhma  and  Mokhcha,  where  there  are  well-to-do  Zirians, 
there  are  houses  of  two  stories.  In  their  case  the  lower  floor  is 
like  an  ordinary  Jcerka,  as  above  described,  but  the  upper 
floor  has  a  sort  of  drawing-room,  with  stuccoed  ceiling  and 
painted  floor  covered  with  reindeer  skins. 

Clothing  and  food. — The  ordinary  winter  costume  is  a 
malitsa  made  of  reindeer  skin  :  this  is  a  huge  fur  overcoat,  in 
form  like  a  sack,  worn  with  the  fur  inside,  having  a  high 
collar  and  mittens  attached  to  the  sleeves.  The  suvik  is  a 
larger  malitsa  worn  with  the  fur  outside  and  having  a  hood 
sewn  to  the  collar.    The  Zirians  wear  high  boots  (pimi)  with 


the  fur  outside  ;    in  summer  they  wear  no  cap,  but  only 
a  sort  of  hood. 

Their  principal  articles  of  diet  are  meat,  fish,  and  milk  : 
bread  and  vegetables  have  only  a  secondary  place.  They  are 
slovenly  in  dressing  their  meals,  never  washing  meat  or  fish  ; 
the  latter  they  find  it  difficult  to  keep,  owing  to  scarcity  of 
salt.  They  are  fond  of  vodka,  with  deplorable  results  ;  they 
also  brew  from  barley -malt  a  sort  of  Icvas  and  beer.  They 
appreciate  tea,  but  they  mix  it  with  pepper,  onions,  and 

Religion. — They  were  converted  to  Christianity  in  the 
fourteenth  century  by  St.  Stephen,  who  translated  the  gospels 
into  the  Zirian  tongue.  They  are  members  of  the  Orthodox 


Territory. — The  Voguls  (also  known  as  the  Maniza)  are  found 
on  both  sides  of  the  Ural  Mountains,  but  the  bulk  of  them 
live  between  the  mountains  and  the  Irtish  and  Ob,  extending 
as  far  north  as  the  River  Sosva  :  they  are  most  numerous 
about  the  River  Konda.  The  European  Voguls  are  found  in 
the  Government  of  Perm,  between  the  headwaters  of  the 
Pechora  and  the  Urals.  Formerly  they  extended  further 
south  and  west. 

Racial  affinities  and  language. — They  are  a  branch  of  the 
Ugrians,  and  so  a  Finnic  people  :  their  language  is  akin  to 
the  Hungarian  and  to  the  Ostyak  speech. 

Numbers. — Their  numbers  were  estimated  in  1912  as  being 
7,476,  of  whom  3,720  were  males.  Of  this  total  about  2,000 
live  in  Europe  and  the  rest  in  Siberia.  They  appear  to  be 
decreasing  in  numbers. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — They  are  not 
unlike  the  Ostyaks,  having  round  broad  faces,  broad  noses, 
prominent  cheek-bones,  and  black  hair,  and  are  small  in 
stature.  They  are  said  to  be  the  least  sociable  of  the  Siberian 

Occupations. — Like  the  Ostyaks,  they  are  mostly  hunters 
and  fishers  :    they  have  little  pasturage,  and  practically  no 

VOGULS  137 

agriculture.  There  are  certain  rules  for  the  preservation  of 
game  that  they  scrupulously  observe  :  they  remain  only  a 
certain  time  in  one  encampment,  and  no  encampment  may 
have  more  than  five  yurts  in  it,  and  they  must  be  at  least 
ten  miles  from  any  other  encampment,  because  the  smoke 
from  their  dwellings  drives  away  game.  Consequently  they 
live  in  isolated  groups,  a  practice  which  would  either  encourage 

(heir  lack  of  sociability  or  account  for  their  reputation  as 
msociable.  They  rear  reindeer,  but  have  few  horses.  They 
rade  with  Samoyedes,  Ostyaks,  or  Russians,  principally  in 
urs,  going  as  far  north  as  Obdorsk  for  commercial  purposes. 
Clothing  and  food. — They  usually  wear  Russian  dress. 
They  either  make  or  used  to  make  summer  clothing  of  nettles 
gathered  in  September,  and  woven  into  garments.  Their 
food  is  principally  fish  or  reindeer  meat.  A  somewhat  liberal 
interpretation  of  what  was  fit  for  food  has  become  more 
restricted  with  the  growth  of  civilization. 

Marriage  and  death. — A  hunter  may  have  more  than  one 
wife,  according  to  his  means,  but  the  union  is  easily  dissolved 
and  the  husband  often  lives  alone.  When  a  Vogul  dies  the  body 
is  taken  out  not  through  the  door,  but  by  a  window  or  specially 
made  hole.  The  graveyard  is  usually  in  a  forest,  the  body 
being  brought  there  by  reindeer,  which  have  to  be  slaughtered 
in  a  particular  manner.  The  body  is  laid  in  a  boat  or  in  a  coffin 
shaped  like  a  boat.    After  the  funeral  there  follows  a  feast. 

Religion. — They  are  nominally  Christians,  but  a  good  deal 
of  Shamanism  survives  among  them. 

Other  Finnic  Tribes 

The  other  Finnic  tribes  fall  outside  the  scope  of  this  book. 
The  Permyaks  are  scarcely  to  be  distinguished  from  the 
Zirians,  whose  language  they  can  understand.  They  are 
found  in  the  Government  of  Perm,  and  particularly  on  the 
River  Kama.  The  Votyaks  are  a  numerous  race,  about 
250,000,  found  in  the  south-eastern  part  of  the  Government 
of  Vyatka  ;  they  are  physically  weak,  and  have  no  striking 
mental  qualities.    The  Volga  Finns,  the  Mordvinians,  number 


about  1,860,000,  and  live  on  the  middle  Volga  about  Kazan, 
Kostroma,  and  Vyatka,  and  also  in  Ufa  and  Orenburg. 

Ugrian  Ostyaks 

Territory. — The  Ostyaks  live  in  the  region  of  the  lower 
Irtish  and  the  lower  Ob  from  its  junction  with  the  Irtish  to 
lat.  67°  N.  Eastward  they  extend  as  far  as  the  Tomsk  district 
and  the  Yenisei.  At  the  time  of  the  Russian  Conquest  their 
abodes  extended  much  further  than  now.  Remains  of  their 
fortified  places,  destroyed  by  the  Cossacks  in  the  sixteenth 
century,  are  to  be  seen  in  several  parts  of  the  country,  many  of 
them  being  found  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Obdorsk. 

Name. — They  call  themselves  As  Chui  or  As  Yakh  (i.  e. 
people  of  the  Ob),  and  of  this  the  name  Ostyak  by  which 
they  are  called  is  a  corruption,  unless  it  is  a  corruption  of  the 
Tartar  name  for  them  Uemtak  (  =  barbarians).  The  northern 
Ostyaks  call  themselves  Handocko  (=  the  men). 

Racial  affinities  and  language. — They  belong  to  the  Finno- 
Ugrian  tribe,  and  are  members  of  that  Ugrian  branch  of  which 
the  Vogul  and  Magyar  are  also  members.  They  are  closely 
related  to  the  Vogul,  but  that  did  not  prevent  them  from  being 
constantly  engaged  in  warfare  with  them  till  both  were 
conquered  by  the  Russians.  They  all  speak  one  language, 
but  there  are  three  or  four  leading  dialects.  The  speech  of 
the  Ostyaks  round  Berezov  is  like  Vogul  and  so  different  from 
the  language  of  the  Ostyaks  round  Obdorsk  that  the  dwellers 
in  the  two  districts  cannot  understand  one  another.  The 
Ugrian  languages  seem  to  have  become  separated  from  the 
other  Finnish  tongues  before  the  development  of  the  system 
of  conjugations  and  declensions.  The  Hungarian  tongue  has 
come  much  under  European  influence  and  is  much  more 
highly  developed  than  either  Ostyak  or  Vogul,  but  it  presents 
certain  close  affinities.  The  Ostyak  has  a  difficulty  in  pro- 
nouncing the  letter  /.  The  purest  dialect  is  said  to  be  at 

Numbers. — The  numbers  estimated  in  1912  were  17,221, 
of  whom  9,012  were  males.     The  numbers  seem  to  be   de- 


creasing ;  infant  mortality  is  very  high,  and  they  are  much 
afflicted  by  famine. 

Divisions. — The  Ostyaks  are  ordinarily  divided  into  Ob 
Ostyaks  and  Irtish  Ostyaks.     The  difference  is  not  merely 

■geographical,  for  the  Irtish  Ostyaks  are  superior  in  develop- 
ment to  the  rest  of  their  race  ;  they  lead  a  more  settled  life 
than  the  Ob  Ostyaks  who  are  mostly  nomadic.  The  '  Ostyaks  ' 
of  the  Yenisei  are  a  wholly  different  race. 

Relations  with  Russians. — In  the  fifteenth  century  the 
Irtish  Ostyaks  were  much  influenced  by  Syrgan  settlers  from 
East  Russia,  and  in  the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries 
they  were  much  influenced  by  the  Tartars.  In  1897  certain 
southern  Ostyak  villages  still  spoke  Tartar,  and  Mohammedan 
influence  appears  in  certain  popular  customs,  for  instance, 
in  the  avoidance  of  eating  pork,  and  in  the  custom  of  women 
covering  their  faces  before  strangers.  Russian  civilization 
has  for  years  now  been  making  great  advances,  chiefly  through 
the  marriage  of  Ostyak  men  with  Russian  women,  rather 
than  vice  versa.  Thus  many  Ostyak  villages  in  the  Irtish 
region  speak  only  Russian,  and  although  old  men  may  speak 
Ostyak,  the  young  men  are  not  learning  the  tongue  of  their 
fathers.  The  trade  between  the  Ostyak  fishers  and  the 
Russian  merchants  from  whom  they  purchase  corn  for  bread, 
the  use  of  which  has  become  greatly  extended,  has  helped 
the  Russification  of  the  Ob  Ostyaks  ;  and  another  aid  to  this 
result  is  the  adherence  of  the  Ostyaks,  at  any  rate  nominally, 
to  the  Orthodox  Church.  They  pay  yassak,  but  are  free  from 
military  service. 

Social  institutions. — A  tribal  system  has  never  taken  root 
among  the  Ostyaks.  They  are  divided  into  clans  each  of  which 
is  really  a  large  family.  Groups  of  the  same  are  ruled  by  a 
knyaz  (prince)  an  hereditary  office.  The  clans  are  artificially 
divided  by  the  Russians  into  radi  with  territorial  names. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — The  Ostyaks  as 
a  whole  are  a  people  of  only  moderate  stature,  generally  about 
5  ft.  3  ins.,  to  5  ft.  4  ins.  In  type  they  are  dolichocephalic, 
long-headed,    as    distinct    from    the    Samoyedes    who    are 


br  achy  cephalic,  their  heads  being  almost  as  wide  as  they 
are  long.  As  the  region  of  the  Ostyaks  approaches  the 
Samoyede  country,  the  brachycephalic  type  appears  among 
them  too. 

The  more  northerly  Ostyaks  are  not  quite  so  well  developed 
as  those  of  the  south.  These  latter  are  well  built  and  have 
a  distinctly  thick-set  appearance.  All,  however,  look  much 
the  same  ;  they  have  round,  flat  faces,  broad  and  rather  flat 
noses,  projecting  cheek-bones,  dark,  narrow  eyes,  and  yellow 
or  yellow-grey  complexions.  Their  hair  is  long,  smooth,  and 
black,  or  chestnut  coloured.  There  is  very  little  hair  on  the 
face  ;  in  the  northern  regions  the  Ostyaks  appear  to  pluck 
it  out.  The  Mongolian  type  is  more  noticeable  among  the 
women  than  the  men.  The  purest  type  is  found  among  the 
fishers  of  the  Ob,  for  the  reindeer -keepers  are  largely  inter- 
mingled with  the  Samoyedes. 

In  temperament  they  are  kind,  gentle,  and  friendly  ;  they 
are  very  honest  except  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Russian 
settlements,  where  the  contact  of  civilization  has  made  them 
adopt  '  business  methods  '. 

Knowledge  and  art. — In  general  the  Ostyaks  cannot  read 
or  write.  In  the  Little  Konda  volost,  some  villages  have 
been  taught  to  read  and  write  by  discharged  soldiers,  and 
in  the  Atlimskoe  villages  on  the  Ob  they  are  completely 
Russified.  But  the  ordinary  Ostyaks  have  now  given  up 
even  sign- writing.  They  understand  counting  by  tens,  but 
have  no  knowledge  of  figures.  They  are  skilled  in  handicraft, 
carving  in  wood  and  bone,  and  making  beautiful  decorations 
by  scratching  on  bark,  to  ornament  their  vessels  and  baskets. 
The  women  make  fine  embroidery  on  linen  woven  by  them- 
selves from  nettle,  hemp,  or  flax.  Hemp  or  flax  is  obtained 
from  merchants  ;  the  nettle  is  gathered  locally,  dried,  broken, 
and  the  fluff  separated  from  the  cover.  Beautiful  ornaments 
are  also  made  with  beads.  The  Irtish  Ostyaks  have  a  fairly 
good  colour  sense,  through  contact  with  Russians,  but  those 
of  the  north  and  east  have  little  capacity  for  distinguishing 
between   different   shades.     They  reckon   distances   by   the 


Hip,  or  Ostyak  verst,  which  is  five  times  longer  than  a 
Russian  verst.  For  smaller  measures,  they  have  the  fathom, 
which  is  the  distance  between  the  extremities  of  two  out- 
stretched arms,  from  finger-tip  to  finger-tip,  or  from  the 
ground  to  the  finger-tips  of  the  upraised  hand  of  a  man  of 
middling  stature.  They  measure  also  by  a  span,  the  distance 
between  the  points  of  thumb  and  forefinger,  and  by  the 
breadth  of  the  middle  of  the  hand,  from  forefinger  to  little 
finger.  One  hundred  paces  is  sometimes  expressed  as  '  as 
far  as  a  marksman  can  shoot '  (with  an  arrow).  The  smallest 
measure  of  time  for  the  Ostyaks  used  to  be  the  time  required 
for  a  kettle  to  boil — something  under  one  hour  (see  p.  165). 
Sunday  is  the  only  day  of  the  week  which  has  a  proper  name. 
The  rest  are  numbered,  1st,  2nd,  3rd  from  Monday  onwards. 

The  Ostyak' s  folk  lore  is  tinged  with  sadness.  They  have 
an  original  music  and  poetry,  improvised  ballads  accompanied 
with  pantomimic  action,  and  they  also  indulge  in  dancing. 
Their  musical  instruments  are  the  dombra,  which  is  a  long 
instrument  of  pine-wood,  shaped  like  a  boat,  with  five  strings 
of  reindeer-sinews,  and  the  '  swan ',  an  instrument  in  the  form 
of  a  bird  with  eight  or  ten  strings  of  brass  wire.  Their  idea  of 
medicine  is  to  bleed  patients  with  an  instrument  consisting 
of  a  pike's  jawbone  fixed  on  a  wooden  shaft.  They  encourage 
even  children  to  smoke  tobacco,  as  a  means  of  preventing 
throat  and  lung  trouble. 

Occupations. — In  point  of  development,  they  stand  between 
the  nomadic  and  the  settled  stage  of  existence.  They  are 
not  pure  nomads,  for  most  of  them  have  fixed  dwellings, 
which  they  inhabit  in  winter.  On  the  other  hand,  they  have 
practically  no  agriculture  ;  only  in  the  south  in  the  volosts 
of  the  Narim  and  upper  Demyanka  do  they  till  the  soil. 
The  rest  of  the  Ostyaks  maintain  themselves  chiefly  by 
fishing  and  hunting,  living  in  wooden  or  earth  huts  in  winter, 
and  leading  a  nomadic  life  in  tents  during  the  summer. 
A  small  proportion,  in  company  with  the  Samoyedes,  own 
reindeer -herds  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Berezov  and  Surgut. 
The  farther  north  they  dwell,  the  more  nomadic  and  less 


developed  are  the  Ostyaks.  They  use  tents  in  summer  rather 
than  huts  and  depend  mainly  on  the  reindeer  for  providing 
them  with  food,  clothing,  and  the  means  of  transport. 

Although  the  lower  Irtish  lands  are  suitable  for  agriculture, 
the  Ostyaks  there,  as  elsewhere,  devote  themselves  to  fishing, 
hunting,  and  the  collecting  of  berries  and  nuts.  Such 
agriculture  as  there  is,  is  done  by  Russian  inhabitants.  The 
harvest  and  fishing  seasons  synchronize  ;  Russian  peasant 
families  engage  in  both  occupations,  by  dividing  the  work 
among  the  various  members  of  their  family.  But  the  Ostyaks 
are  said  to  have  too  small  families  to  do  this. 

Fishing,  although  very  good  on  the  Irtish  and  Ob,  is  not 
very  highly  developed  among  the  Ostyaks.  They  use  chiefly 
Russian  fishing  tackle,  and  as  this  is  expensive,  the  villages 
or  families  to  whom  the  best  water  or  sandbanks  belong, 
lease  out  these  to  Russians,  for  rents  varying  from  20  to 
300  roubles  (£2  2s.  U.  to  £31  Is.  6d.)  for  a  good  fishing  station ; 
as  much  as  1,270  roubles  (£135)  has  been  paid  for  a  sandbank 
in  the  Ob,  with  a  neighbouring  by-stream.  Those  who  do 
not  possess  suitable  sandbanks  fish  for  themselves  and  gain 
100  to  140  roubles  per  man.  They  catch  sturgeon  through 
the  ice  in  winter  by  ingenious  methods. 

Hunting  of  the  elk  and  reindeer  goes  on  in  the  regions  of 
the  Irtish  and  Ob,  chiefly  in  winter.  The  Ostyaks  hunt  on 
snow-shoes,  with  dogs,  and  use  muskets  of  an  antique  pattern, 
often  flint-locks,  produced  near  Tobolsk  at  a  price  of  from 
2£  to  4 J  roubles  (5s.  4d.  to  9s.  Id.).  In  remoter  districts, 
even  in  the  Irtish  river  system,  bows  and  arrows  were  used 
at  any  rate  in  recent  years,  chiefly  for  shooting  squirrels  and 
ducks.  Hunting  brings  in  from  40  to  80  roubles  per  man. 
Forest-fires  have  greatly  decreased  its  value.  The  skin  of 
an  elk  brings  in  5  to  6  roubles  (10s.  Qd.  to  12s.  9d.)  locally, 
that  of  a  reindeer  1  to  1-50  roubles  (2s.  Id.  to  3s.  3d.). 

The  gathering  of  cranberries  and  cedar-nuts  affords  con- 
siderable employment  to  the  Ostyaks,  and  it  requires  little 
or  no  capital.  The  woods  are  leased  out  by  the  village 
communities  which  own  them,   as  are  the  fishing-stations. 


The  cranberry  hedges  are  burnt  out  about  every  ten  years, 
to  get  rid  of  old  growths.  The  cedar-nut  woods  have  suffered 
not  merely  from  forest-fires,  but  from  cutting  for  building- 
purposes.  The  best  cranberry  hedges  are  in  the  Konda 
district,  where  one  man  can  gather  36  to  48  lb.  a  day,  and 
one  family  during  the  season  can  collect  13  cwt.  to  2\  tons. 

In  the  eastern  districts  where  the  cedar-woods  have  suffered 
from  fire  and  cutting,  the  economic  condition  of  the  Ostyaks 
has  deteriorated.  Formerly  a  family  made  £10  to  £20  from 
collecting  cedar-nuts  ;  now  in  a  good  year,  which  means 
about  one  in  four,  they  make  £4  to  £7.  The  average  price  is 
2 J  roubles  (5s.  M.)  per  pud  (36  lb.).  The  woods  belong  to 
the  village  communities ;  any  one  can  procure  the  right  to 
gather  nuts  in  a  wood  during  the  season  for  1  to  1|  roubles 
(2s.  Id.  to  35.  3d.). 

Horses  and  horned  cattle  are  kept  only  for  household 
purposes.  Milk  is  used  in  the  family  ;  in  the  Irtish  district 
a  little  is  made  into  butter  and  sold. 

Most  of  the  good  agricultural  land  in  the  Irtish  district 
has  passed  into  the  hands  of  Russian  peasants.  The  rest  of 
the  land  is  held  by  the  village  communities,  which  lease  it  out, 
but  cannot  legally  alienate  it,  as  it  is  Crown  land  and  pays 
tribute.  But  as  Ostyaks  die  out,  the  Russian  Government 
acquiesces  in  their  land  passing  to  energetic  Russian  peasants. 

Economic  conditions. — There  is  a  remarkable  system  of 
credit  among  the  Ostyaks.  Fish,  meat,  and  berries  do  not 
supply  all  they  require ;  they  need  in  addition  bread ;  tobacco, 
tea,  and  brandy  are  also  in  common  use.  A  male  Ostyak 
has  also  to  pay  something  over  six  roubles  (12s.  9d.)  in  direct 
taxes.  To  obtain  ready  money  for  all  this,  they  could  sell 
their  wares  in  town,  but  the  time  and  expense  involved  in 
transporting  goods  over  a  distance  of,  say,  60  to  200  miles  is 
prohibitive.  To  meet  this  difficulty  there  are  Russian  traders 
who  supply  the  Ostyaks  with  flour,  tobacco,  &c,  also  with 
money  to  pay  taxes,  sufficient  for  the  year's  needs.  In  return 
they  receive  the  raw  products  of  the  Ostyak.  At  the  end  of 
the  year,  the  value  of  these  is  reckoned  against  the  value 

144  THE  NEO-S I  B  E  R I  AN  TRTBES 

of  the  goods  advanced  by  the  trader.  If  there  is  a  balance 
in  favour  of  the  Ostyak,  it  is  given  to  him  in  goods  ;  if  there 
is  an  adverse  balance,  it  is  carried  over  against  him  to  the 
next  year  as  a  debt  in  the  trader's  books.  The  cheapest 
wares,  such  as  fish,  are  only  taken  by  the  trader  for  sale  on 
commission,  in  the  town.  The  sum  received  is  handed  over 
to  the  Ostyak,  minus  the  commission,  and  minus  the  cost  of 
transportation,  which  is  10  to  15  kopeks  for  100  versts,  about 
2\d.  to  4d.  for  66  miles.  The  Ostyaks  cannot  read  or  write, 
and  therefore  have  to  trust  to  the  trader  to  keep  his  books 
properly.  Among  the  northern  Ostyaks,  where  the  same 
credit  system  prevails,  a  notched  stick  is  used  for  registering 
values  ;  the  stick  is  split,  and  one  half  is  kept  by  the  creditor, 
the  other  half  by  the  debtor.  The  Russian  trader  makes 
considerable  gains,  with  a  capital  varying  from  20  to  100,000 
roubles  (£2  to  £10,500).  But  he  may  also  suffer  considerable 
losses  if  an  Ostyak  on  his  books  dies  in  debt. 

Ostyaks  appear  to  be  seldom  free  from  debt.  They  quickly 
spend  the  money  which  they  obtain  for  leases  of  river-stations, 
and  then  often  become  mere  labourers  at  the  rate  of  about 
3  roubles  (6s.  5d.)  per  month  to  those  to  whom  they  have 
granted  leases. 

Dwellings. — An  Ostyak  village  numbers  from  four  to  twenty 
houses,  arranged  without  any  order.  Besides  such  winter 
villages,  there  are  summer  villages,  consisting  of  huts  of 
beams  roughly  put  together,  used  only  during  the  fishing 
season.  But  the  southern  Ostyaks  have  given  up  the  use 
of  these,  and  make  a  living  by  residing  continuously  in  their 
winter  villages.  Fishers  who  go  off  on  fishing  expeditions 
together,  erect  a  temporary  hut  and  live  in  it  as  if  one  family 

The  fixed  dwellings  of  the  Ostyaks  are  of  two  kinds.  To  the 
north  and  east  they  are  made  of  earth,  but  about  Tobolsk  and 
Berezov  of  timber.  These  last  are  of  one,  very  occasionally 
of  two  stories,  like  those  of  the  neighbouring  Russian  peasants. 
The  windows  are  generally  of  glass  ,  but  sometimes  only 
of  skin.  The  houses  have  one,  two,  or  three  rooms,  but  in 
winter  the  whole  family  lives  in  one  room,  on  account  of  the 


cold.  Round  this  room  are  benches  fixed  to  the  wall ; 
there  are  holy  pictures,  an  enormous  table,  a  great  wooden 
bedstead,  and  a  stove  built  of  clay.  The  earth-huts  of  the 
other  Ostyaks  are  of  the  same  pattern,  but  on  a  much  smaller 

Icale.  Near  the  winter  dwellings  of  the  Ostyaks  are  sheds 
or  stores.  The  horses  are  kept  away  from  the  house,  generally 
11  the  open,  sometimes  in  a  wooden  shelter  ;  horned  cattle 
,re  provided  with  a  shelter. 
Clothing  and  food. — The  Irtish  Ostyaks  are  in  the  habit  of 
rearing  Russian  apparel,  except  that  in  winter  some  of  them 
tdopt  the  Samoyede  costume,  as  indeed  Russians  do  too. 
This  consists  of  an  outer  garment  and  an  inner  garment 
malitsa)  both  made  of  dog-skin  or  reindeer-skin,  and  a  fur 
cap.  The  rest  of  the  Ostyaks  wear  much  the  same  dress  as 
this  in  winter.  In  summer  they  wear  only  one  skin-garment 
with  another  of  red  cloth  above  it.  Leathern  trousers,  leathern 
stockings,  a  belt  with  requisites  hanging  from  it,  and  shoes 
of  reindeer-skin  complete  their  costume.  The  women  wear 
stockings  made  of  fish-skin  :  otherwise  their  dress  does  not 
differ  from  that  of  men,  except  that  they  have  a  piece  of 
drapery  with  which  to  cover  their  faces. 

For  food  they  eat  mainly  reindeer-flesh  and  fish,  preferring 
to  eat  them  raw.  They  regard  the  former  as  a  great  preventive 
of  scurvy.  Poziom  (dried  fish)  and  varka  (the  stomach  and 
entrails  of  fish  soaked  in  oil)  are  much  eaten  by  them.  From 
Russian  merchants  they  have  learnt  the  use  of  bread,  and  it 
is  spreading  among  them.  They  make  what  is  called  burduk 
of  meal  boiled  with  water  and  fish-bones. 

Marriage  and  death. — Marriage  is  exogamous,  though  the 
clans  are  not  composed  of  blood-relations.  A  price  is  paid 
for  the  bride. 

The  Ostyaks  are  buried  in  forests.  No  grave  is  dug,  but 
the  body  is  laid  on  the  ground  and  covered  with  inverted 
skins.     In  the  north  they  still  bury  the  dead  in  canoes. 

Religion. — For  about  a  century  the  Ostyaks  have  been 
baptized,  and  Christianity  has  made  some  progress  among 
them.     On  the  Irtish  and  Ob  the  old  customs  are  largely 


forgotten,  but  in  the  north  the  nomadic  reindeer-breeding 
Ostyaks  are  still  pagan.  They  recognize  good  and  bad  gods, 
and  pay  homage  to  the  god  of  the  thunder  and  the  spirit  of 
the  River  Ob. 

A  special  sanctity  attaches  to  the  bear.  They  swear  their 
most  solemn  oaths  over  its  pate,  and  when  they  have  killed 
and  eaten  one  they  are  careful  to  collect  and  bury  its  bones. 
The  loss  of  one  will  entail  some  mischance  at  the  next  bear 
hunt.  They  apologize  to  the  bear  for  killing  him,  saying  that 
the  real  responsibility  rests  not  with  them,  but  with  the  Russian 
who  supplied  the  gun  and  gunpowder. 

(ii)    Samoyedic  Tribes 

Territory. — This  important  tribe  extends  along  the  north 
coast  of  European  and  Asiatic  Russia  from  the  shores  of 
the  White  Sea  to  the  banks  of  the  River  Khatanga.  They  are 
most  numerous  in  the  province  of  Arkhangel.  In  old  accounts 
of  voyages  Samoedia  was  always  the  country  between  the 
Pechora  and  the  Ob,  but  they  really  extend  almost  to  the 
Lena.  They  have  come  northwards  from  the  Altai,  driven 
out  by  the  Turco-Tartars  in  the  fifth  century  a.  d.,  and  they 
may  be  the  people  traces  of  whose  primitive  civilization  are 
found  in  the  valley  of  the  upper  Yenisei.  Their  present  mode 
of  life  recalls  the  '  reindeer-civilization  '  of  primaeval  times  in 
middle  Europe. 

Name. — There  are  various  spellings  of  the  name  :  the  form 
adopted  in  this  book  is  that  most  frequent  in  literature,  but 
the  pronunciation  seems  to  be  more  like  Sam-yad.  The  word 
has  been  supposed  to  mean  '  self -eaters  ',  or  has  been  other- 
wise explained  as  'raw-eaters'.  Probably,  however,  it  has  no 
such  barbarous  connotation,  but  is  to  be  associated  with 
Suomi,  the  name  by  which  the  inhabitants  of  Finland  call 
their  country.  The  Lapps  and  Karelians  also  have  similar 
names  for  themselves.  The  Samoyedes  call  themselves 
Hazovo  (i.  e.  the  men),  and  Nyanyaz  ;    the  Ostyaks  call  them 


Orghoy  and  Vorkho,  names  which  recall  the  word  Ugrians, 
by  which  name  the  inhabitants  on  both  sides  of  the  Ural  are 
called.    The  name  Samoyede  occurs  in  a  chronicle  of  1096. 

Racial  affinities  and  language. — They  are  usually  distin- 
guished from  the  Finno-Ugrian  tribes,  but  are  closely  allied 
(to  them.  The  language  resembles  Finnish,  but  has  more 
suffixes  :  it  is  agglutinative  and  polysyllabic,  and  is  sonorous 
and  pleasant  to  hear.  There  are  three  dialects  and  twelve 
sub -dialects. 
X umbers. — It  is  difficult  to  be  at  all  sure  of  the  numbers, 
as  the  methods  and  dates  of  computation  in  Europe  and 
Asia  differ.  A  rough  estimate  of  the  numbers  is  about  20,000. 
In  Arkhangel  province  in  1897  there  were  computed  to  be 
6,748,  and  in  Asia  in  1912  they  were  estimated  at  12,502. 
In  Novaya  Zemlya  there  are  about  100  Samoyede  settlers. 
Another  reason  for  caution  in  dealing  with  the  question  of 
Samoyede  numbers  is  the  uncertainty  whether  they  include 
the  southern  tribes  closely  allied  to  the  Samoyedes.  There  has 
been  a  slight  increase  at  any  rate  in  Europe  since  the  middle 
of  last  century,  and  probably  the  gloomy  prognostications 
that  the  race  will  die  out  are  unwarranted,  as  they  are  better 
adapted  to  the  land  in  which  they  live  than  any  one  else. 
But  their  marriages  are  not  very  fertile,  one  mother  seldom 
having  more  than  two  or  three  children,  and  they  have  to 
face  four  deadly  foes,  syphilis,  scurvy,  small-pox,  and  spirits. 
Divisions. — Of  the  Samoyedes  proper  there  are  four  main 
divisions  : 

(1)  The  Yuraks,  who  extend  from  the  White  Sea  to  the 
Yenisei,  a  vigorous,  brave  people,  who  are  mostly  reindeer- 
nomads,  but  who  also  do  some  hunting  and  fishing  and  show 
great  daring  in  their  expeditions.  Their  chief  centres  are 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  Obdorsk,  where  there  are  about 
6,000  of  them,  and  near  the  Gulf  of  Mezen,  where  there  are 
about  5,000.    There  are  five  sub-dialects  of  their  speech. 

(2)  The  Tavgi  live  in  the  Taimir  Peninsula  from  the 
Yenisei  to  Khatanga  Bay.  There  are  about  1,000,  most  of 
whom  are  reindeer-nomads. 

k  2 


(3)  The  Ostyak-Samoyedes,  whose  number  is  uncertain,  but 
who  are  estimated  at  about  3,000,  live  in  the  zone  between 
the  tundra  and  the  taiga.  They  are  almost  entirely  hunters, 
there  being  merely  a  few  reindeer-nomads  in  the  northern 
part  of  the  district,  and  they  own  but  few  reindeer. 

(4)  The  Y  enisei- Samoyedes  live  along  the  Yenisei :  they 
live  mostly  by  fishing,  do  some  hunting  and  only  to  a  slight 
extent  are  reindeer-nomads.  There  are  only  about  350  of 

There  is  further  subdivision  into  tribes  :  for  instance  in 
the  Yamal  Peninsula  there  are  ten  different  tribes,  each  with 
its  fixed  boundaries  for  reindeer -pasture. 

Relations  with  Russians. — Their  connexion  with  the  Russians, 
at  any  rate  in  Europe,  is  of  long  standing  :  in  the  eleventh 
century  we  hear  of  them  paying  tribute  to  the  Novgorodians. 
Their  present  relations  with  their  Russian  masters  are  believed 
to  be  good,  but  a  readiness  to  do  work  without  pay  suggests, 
apart  from  their  natural  willingness  to  oblige,  traditions  of 
forced  labour.  They  have  been  protected  in  their  occupation 
of  the  tundras  by  law  since  the  sixteenth  century,  and  they 
resist  and  resent  encroachments  on  the  part  of  the  Russians 
and  Zirians,  but,  being  bad  men  of  business,  they  easily  fall 
into  a  position  of  dependence  upon  them.  They  have  been 
impoverished  in  the  south  by  the  loss  of  their  hunting-grounds, 
as  Russian  civilization  has  spread  northward.  On  the  Yenisei 
the  fisher-folk  are  less  independent  than  the  other  Samoyedes, 
and  the  Russian  traders  are  apt  to  be  despotic  with  them. 
But  there  is  certainly  no  general  desire  to  grind  them  down  or 
treat  their  rights  disrespectfully  :  the  adult  Yurak  pays  an 
annual  tax  of  about  £1,  which  is  not  a  very  heavy  impost. 

Social  institutions. — In  1835  the  Samoyedes  were  given 
considerable  powers  of  self-government.  In  their  own  affairs 
they  are  governed  by  starshinas  (elders  or  mayors) — the  name 
has  generally  replaced  the  earlier  one  of  knyaz  (prince) — one 
of  whom  is  elected  for  each  tundra.  He  is  the  intermediary 
between  the  Samoyedes  and  the  Russian  administration  : 
he  is  the  ruler  and  judge  of  his  little  community,  collects  the 


yassak  (tribute)  and  pays  it  in  to  the  Russian  Government. 

All  offences  except  the  most  serious  are  settled  according  to 

leir  own  customs.     A  further  law  of  1892  recognized  and 

motioned   native   councils  ;     the   munyah  meets   annually, 

Leir  meetings  being  held  in  winter;  there  must  be  a  repre- 

mtative  of  each  clan  present ;    women  are  excluded  from 

ie  meetings.  The  starshina  is  elected  for  three  years.  Russian 

luence  has  greatly  strengthened  his  hands,  and  his  power 

probably  greater  than  when  he  had  the  more  exalted  title. 

Physical  abearance  and  characteristics. — Accounts  of  the 

miperament  and  stature  of  the  Samoyedes  differ  as  much  as 

lo  those  of  their  numbers.    It  is  probably  difficult  to  generalize 

about  a  people  so  widely  extended  and  so  markedly  divided. 

In  height  there  is  a  general  agreement  that  they  are  short : 

a  man  5  ft.  6  ins.  would  be  accounted  a  giant,  and  the  men 

are  about  4  inches  taller  than  the  women.     In  appearance 

they  resemble  the   Ostyaks,   but  they   are  brachycephalic, 

or  rather,  mesocephalic.     They  have  straight,  glossy,  black 

hair,  which  is  usually  bound  with  thongs  in  two  bunches  ; 

their  skin  is  sallow ;  their  eyes  narrow,  oblique,  and  far  apart ; 

their  faces  broad,  flat,  and  round  ;    the  nose  flat  and  open  ; 

the  cheekbones  prominent ;   the  lips  thick.    They  are  mostly 

beardless.     They  are  often  of  good  appearance  despite  their 

short  stature,  are  stoutly  built  and  very  muscular. 

There  is  some  admixture  of  Russian  blood,  and  the  race  is 
found  to  be  less  pure  in  the  west  than  in  the  east.  On  the 
west  side  of  the  Pechora  a  Slavonic  and  Teutonic  strain  shows 
itself  in  the  breed  :  so  there  are  some  Samoyedes  in  these 
parts  with  light  hair,  fair  skins,  and  eyes  '  of  Gothic  type  '. 

Travellers  differ  as  to  their  honesty,  but  the  general  verdict 
is  in  their  favour  :  at  any  rate  they  are  known  to  adhere 
strictly  to  their  word  when  given.  They  have  energy  and 
natural  intelligence,  but  are  thriftless.  They  are  sociable, 
and  extremely  hospitable,  both  to  strangers  and  their  fellow 
tribesmen  :  they  are  constantly  smiling  and  laughing,  and 
delight  in  gossip  ;  they  are  very  fond  of  children,  who  treat 
their  elders  with  confidence  and   without  fear.     They   are 


more  independent  than  the  Ostyaks,  and  the  Yuraks  especially 
are  brave  and  daring.  They  are  a  dirty  people,  and  never 
wash  ;  nor  do  they  change  their  clothes,  until  they  are  worn 
out.  But  their  teeth  are  white,  partly  because  they  arc 
accustomed  to  chew  pine-resin.  They  are  fond  of  music, 
though  their  music  is  much  less  developed  than  that  of  the 
Ostyaks,  being  rudimentary  and  monotonous.  But  the  Samo- 
yede  likes  to  possess  himself  of  the  dumbra  of  the  Ostyak. 

Occupations. — The  chief  occupations  are  reindeer-breeding, 
hunting,  and  fishing  ;  before  their  northward  migration  they 
practised  agriculture,  but  very  few  practise  it  now.  The 
Yuraks  and  Tavgi  are  mainly  reindeer-breeders,  and,  as  such, 
nomadic  ;  but  the  Samoyedes  are  capable  of  settling  down. 
At  Kozhva,  in  the  Arkhangel  province,  where  there  is  some 
stationary  population  (in  1892  there  were  38  huts)  the  people 
are  engaged  partly  in  growing  barley,  partly  in  rearing  cattle, 
partly  in  fishing.  But  the  Samoyedes  who  have  k  settled  down ' 
often  live  in  Russian  and  Zirian  villages  without  a  regular 
occupation.  The  nomadic  Samoyede  is  on  the  march  with 
his  tent  for  four  months  every  year  ;  he  migrates  south  in 
winter  and  north  in  summer.  A  rich  Samoyede — the  richest 
are  in  the  Yamal  Peninsula — may  have  as  many  as  5,000 
reindeer,  and  the  further  north  one  goes  into  the  tundra, 
the  richer  are  the  Samoyedes  found  to  be.  They  seem  to 
have  no  affection  for  their  deer,  but  regard  them  merely  from 
the  pecuniary  point  of  view.  Some  of  them,  especially  the 
Ostyak  Samoyedes,  are  more  engaged  in  hunting,  and  to 
some  extent  in  fishing.  Communal  hunting  of  the  wild 
reindeer  still  survives  among  the  Samoyede.  White  and  blue 
foxes  are  trapped  and  snared,  and  geese  and  other  birds  arc 
caught  during  the  moulting  season.  In  hunting  they  used  to 
employ  a  bow  and  arrows,  but  in  their  place  they  now  use 
clumsy  and  primitive  flint-lock  muskets,  and  employ  a  gun- 
rest  in  shooting.  So  a  native  industry  in  bows  and  arrows 
has  died  out  without  any  counterbalancing  addition  to  their 
resources.  The  fisherman  is  looked  down  upon  by  the  reindeer 
owner.    There  is  a  weak  industry  on  the  sea  coast  in  hunting 


marine  animals  ;  but  the  incapacity  and  lack  of  enterprise 
of  the  Samoyedes  put  them  at  the  mercy  of  monopolists  : 
they  do  not  even  carry  their  goods  to  market,  but  have  them 
transported  by  the  Russians,  who  use  the  Samoyedes'  own 
reindeer  for  the  purpose.  Most  of  the  Samoyedes'  implements 
are  of  bone  and  stone.  But  with  three  metal  tools,  his  axe,  his 
borer,  and  his  knife,  he  is  very  dexterous.     The  Samoyede 

Iyomen  are  expert  in  sewing  :  they  use  reindeer-sinews  for 
hread,  preparing  them  first  by  chewing. 
The  Samoyedes  trade  in  much  the  same  way  as  the  Ostyaks 
p.  143)  :  they  bring  their  peltries  to  Berezov,  Obdorsk,  and 
ither  markets  ;  but  the  Zirians,  whom  the  Russians  call  the 
ews  of  the  tundra,  have  got  most  of  the  Samoyede  trade  into 
heir  hands.  East  of  the  Urals  money  is  little  used,  but  in 
oartering  with  the  Samoyedes  only  articles  of  practical  use 
are  serviceable  :  to  think  of  them  as  savages  and  bring  them 
glass  beads  is  the  worst  of  mistakes. 

Dwellings. — The  migratory  Samoyede  lives  in  a  chum. 
Three  or  four  families  usually  travel  together.  A  chum  is 
made  of  about  twenty  fir-poles,  sharpened  at  each  end,  driven 
into  the  ground  and  with  their  tops  lashed  together.  Over 
these  are  tied  large  pieces  of  birch-bark,  reaching  from  the 
top  of  the  poles  to  the  ground  and  secured  in  their  place  by 
stones  or  lumps  of  earth.  The  chimney  is  an  orifice  of  two  feet 
or  so  between  the  tops  of  the  poles  and  the  edge  of  the  birch- 
bark.  In  winter  the  chum  is  covered  with  reindeer-skins, 
well  caulked  with  moss.  In  the  centre  of  this  tent  is  a  large 
flat  stone  on  which  the  fire  is  made.  The  fire  serves  for 
illuminant  as  well  as  heat,  for  they  do  not  use  lamps.  The 
part  of  the  chum  that  faces  the  entrance  is  holy,  and  must  not 
be  contaminated  by  the  presence  of  women,  as  they  are  unclean. 
Clothing  and  food. — The  common  dress  of  both  sexes  is 
a  red  cotton  shirt  and  thin  cloth  trousers,  with  skin  stockings 
(hiipti)  and  long  deer-skin  boots  fyimi)  which  are  almost  alike 
in  the  costume  of  men  and  women.  In  snow  seal-skin  boots 
are  worn  instead  as  being  more  waterproof.  Over  the  shirt 
is  worn  the  malitsa,  a  smock-like  garment  made  of  reindeer- 


skin,  with  the  hair  worn  inside  ;  it  has  a  hole  for  the  head  to 
be  thrust  through,  and  at  the  neck  there  is  attached  a  close- 
fitting  hood,  while  mittens  (rukavitsa)  are  attached  to  the 
sleeves.  It  is  tightly  girded  round  the  waist,  so  as  to  make 
a  sort  of  bag.  Over  this  is  worn  a  white  deer-skin  (suvik), 
cut  in  the  same  pattern,  but  without  the  rukavitsa  ;  instead 
of  these  it  has  bands  of  red  flannel  about  the  wrists  :  in  this 
garment  the  hair  is  worn  outside.  Women  do  not  wear  the 
suvik  but  '  a  long,  loose,  buttonless  skin-coat,  reaching  to 
the  calf  of  the  leg,  folded  over  the  breast  and  secured  round 
the  waist  by  a  belt.  At  regular  intervals  there  are  eight  or 
nine  strips  of  reindeer  skin  with  intervening  pipings  of  red  and 
green  flannel '.  The  woman  wears  a  cap  detached  from  the 
robe  with  hair  outside  and  elaborately  adorned.  The  only 
ornament  in  male  attire,  as  a  rule,  is  a  belt  of  thongs  with 
metal  buttons  :  both  sexes  wear  charms,  especially  the  tooth 
of  a  bear. 

Their  principal  food  is  reindeer  meat,  which  they  like  to 
eat  raw  or  half -putrid.  They  care  more  for  quantity  than 
quality.  One  favourite  delicacy  Avith  them  is  the  gullet  of 
the  reindeer.  The  young  reindeer  is  good  to  eat,  but  the  old 
reindeer,  if  not  hung,  is  very  tough.  They  are  fond  of  vodka, 
and  are  ready  to  sell  a  reindeer  for  three  litres  of  it.  They 
chew  tobacco,  but  do  not  smoke  it,  but  they  make  snuff  by 
grinding  down  tobacco.  In  some  parts  a  certain  amount  of 
rye-bread  is  made,  where  the  flour  is  mixed  with  water  and 

Marriage  and  death. — Monogamy  is  general,  but  there  is 
no  objection  to  polygamy.  Few  Samoyedes,  however,  have 
more  than  two  wives,  though  some  rich  men  have  as  many  as 
four  in  separate  chums.  The  father  only  keeps  part  of  the 
kalym  paid  by  the  bridegroom,  which  may  amount  to  as 
much  as  thirty  fox-skins  and  three  hundred  reindeer  (an 
actual  case)  ;  the  rest  is  given  to  his  relations.  He  gives 
a  dowry  a  chum,  some  reindeer,  sledges,  harness,  meat,  ai 
clothes,  amounting  in  value  to  the  kalym  paid,  which 
returned  in  case  of  divorce.    A  Samoyede  wall  sometimes  sc 


his  wife  for  some  teams  of  reindeer  or  exchange  her  for  the 
wife  of  another  man. 

Interment  of  the  dead  has  been  the  custom  with  the 
Samoyedes  since  their  conversion  to  Christianity.  Graves  are 
viewed  with  superstition,  and  the  head  is  averted  in  passing 

le  grave  of  any  one  who  is  not  a  relative.  The  graves  are 
terely  rude  wooden  boxes,  often  rifled  by  wolves  and  foxes. 

?yond  the  mouth  of  the  Ob  below  the  earth  lies  the  world 
the  future  life,  where  the  shadow  will  live  as  long  as  it 

bs  lived  on  earth  while  the  soul  is  reincarnated. 

Religion. — A  'conversion'  to  Christianity,  which  had  been 

receded  by  a  considerable  assimilation  of  Christian  ideas  and 
ithics,  has  not  prevented  the  retention  of  a  good  deal  of  the 
primitive  religion  of  the  Samoyedes.  They  have  a  feeling  that 
the  God  of  the  Christians  cannot  be  supposed  to  know  much 
about  reindeer  ;  so  in  that  part  of  their  life  which  is  related 
to  their  herds,  they  make  their  appeals  to  their  native  divinities. 
At  the  head  of  these  is  Num,  the  giver  of  life,  a  highly  exalted 
being  who  will  not  even  deign  to  glance  at  the  earth,  as  being 
unclean.  Of  him  there  are  images  made  called  chaddi,  which 
are  carefully  kept  out  of  sight.  Besides  Num,  they  believe 
in  Aa,  a  devil,  tadebtsi,  spirits,  and  hegi,  household  gods. 
These  last  can  be  approached  directly  without  a  mediator, 
but  for  the  tadebtsi  the  intervention  of  the  tadebeys  (Shamans) 
is  necessary ;  they  are  the  embodiment  of  the  divine  spirit 
on  earth.  There  is  no  particular  temple  for  their  rites,  but 
they  resort  to  certain  places  on  hills.  The  island  of  Vaigach  is 
accounted  especially  holy,  and  there  above  all  places  the  devout 
Samoyede  would  wish  to  be  buried. 

Tribes  akin  to  the  Samoyedes 

Besides  the  Samoyedes,  properly  so-called,  there  are  tribes 
further  south,  closely  akin  to  them.  Of  these  may  be  named 
the  Beltirs,  Kaibals,  Kamassins,  Karagasses,  Motors,  and 
Soyots.  Some  of  these  are  largely  mixed  with  a  Tartar 
strain.  The  Beltirs  live  by  agriculture  and  cattle-breeding 
on  the  Abakansk  steppe  ;    they  profess  Christianity  ;    their 


language  is  like  that  of  the  Sagai  Tartars.  The  Kaibals  are 
on  the  upper  Yenisei ;  they  are  hardly  to  be  distinguished 
from  the  Tartars  of  the  Minusinsk  district ;  they  support 
themselves  by  rearing  cattle.  The  Kamassins,  who  also  have 
a  large  Tartar  admixture  in  their  language,  live  in  the  Kansk 
district  of  Yeniseisk.  They  are  herdsmen  or  agriculturists. 
The  Karagasses,  north  of  the  Sayansk  Mountains,  are  losing 
their  distinctive  features.  They  number  to-day  345,  including 
83  '  warriors  '.  Of  the  Motors  one  section  entered  China  and 
was  exterminated  ;  the  other  section  has  been  merged  among 
the  Tuba  and  Soyots. 

The  Soyots  are  probably  a  division  of  the  Samoyedes,  who 
live  in  the  extreme  south  of  Siberia  near  the  Kitoisk  Moun- 
tains. They  are  a  small  and  rapidly  disappearing  tribe, 
isolated  from  the  rest  of  the  world  among  their  cold  and  bare 
mountains.  Their  settlements  are  at  Lake  Ulchir,  Kitoi, 
Tsagan-Khar,  Oplik-Gol,  Samart,  Dzhatkhak,  and  Khonshon. 
They  live  entirely  by  hunting  for  sable,  squirrel,  and  bear,  and 
procure  their  own  requirements  (such  as  powder,  lead,  tea, 
flour,  and  salt)  by  the  sale  of  their  fur.  They  make  use  of 
horses,  but  more  often  of  reindeer,  for  driving  and  hunting. 
They  live  in  wooden  yurtas  in  different  places  in  accordance 
with  the  season  of  the  year,  the  winter  ones  being  built  on  the 
edge  of  the  taiga  so  that  they  can  procure  firewood.  The 
position  of  the  others  is  dictated  by  the  necessity  of  procuring 
food  for  their  horses  and  reindeer,  which  have  to  graze  all  the 
year  round,  as  they  have  no  means  of  making  hay  near  their 
yurtas.  These  huts  are  four-cornered  erections  of  wood,  with 
an  opening  in  the  roof  for  the  smoke  from  the  tire  which  is 
always  burning.  They  live  amid  incredible  dirt  and  never 
wash,  their  only  method  of  cleaning  being  by  licking.  Their 
religion  is  sometimes  Lamaism,  sometimes  Shamanism.  They 
speak  the  Buryat  language.  A  few  years  ago  there  was  one 
old  man  who  could  speak  the  Soyot  language.  Some  few  of 
them  speak  Russian.     Their  one  food  is  zamvran  :   i.  c.  green 


SOYOTS  155 

brick  tea,  boiled  with  milk,  flour,  reindeer-fat,  and  salt ;  they 
never  eat  bread  and  only  rarely  reindeer  meat.  Their  imple- 
ments for  eating  are  a  small  wooden  cup  of  Mongol  workman- 
ship, which  the  owner  always  carries  about  with  him,  and  a 
knife,  without  a  sheath,  hanging  from  the  belt.     They  suffer 

Iiuch  from  various  diseases — colds,  complaints  of  the 
tomach,  and  syphilis, 
(iii)  Turkic  Tribes 
The  Turkic  tribes  have  often  been  classed  with  the  Mon- 
olian,  but  it  is  now  more  usual  to  separate  them.  The  differ  - 
nces  are  more  marked  in  language  and  religion  than  in  physiog- 
nomy and  other  racial  characteristics.  There  is  a  considerable 
blending  with  Finnic  and  Samoyedic  stocks,  and  in  some  cases 
it  is  difficult  to  say  to  which  of  these  branches  of  the  Ural- 
Altaic  group  a  particular  tribe  like  the  Karagasses  should  be 
attributed.  In  western  Siberia  the  great  group  of  Turkic 
peoples  is  the  Tartars,  while  in  eastern  Siberia  their  chief 
representative  is  the  Yakut.  The  Turkic  people  have  pene- 
trated Siberia  from  northern  Mongolia,  preceding  in  their 
movement  the  great  Mongol  invasions  of  the  thirteenth  century. 
It  was  these  invasions  which  caused  the  Yakuts  to  move  from 
the  region  in  which  they  had  settled  round  Lake  Baikal  to 
the  basin  of  the  Lena.  The  Tartars  spread  farther  west, 
and  there  are  well  over  a  million  of  them  in  European  Russia 

Siberian  Tartars 
Territory. — In  Siberia  the  Tartars  are  found  Avest  of  the 
Yenisei.  They  are  cut  into  two  distinct  portions  ;  a  northern 
group,  consisting  of  the  Baraba  and  Chulim  Tartars,  occupies 
the  Baraba  steppe  and  the  Chulim  basin  to  the  east  of  it, 
and  a  southern  group,  separated  from  them  by  the  Siberian 
Railway  and  the  stream  of  Russian  immigration,  occupies  the 
Altai  and  the  Abakansk  steppe  in  the  basin  of  the  Yenisei. 

Name. — There  are  various  names  for  the  different  groups 
of  inhabitants,  but  they  are  collectively  called  Tartars,  or, 
with  more  correct  spoiling,  Tatars. 


Racial  affinities  and  language. — As  stated  above,  they  are 
distinct  from  the  Mongolians,  though  sometimes  classified 
with  them,  and  many  of  the  tribes  have  become  much  inter- 
mixed either  with  Finnic  or  Samoyedic  peoples  or  with  other 
peoples  of  Turkic  stock.  In  some  cases  too  they  have  grown 
to  have  a  strong  resemblance  to  the  Caucasian  peoples,  with 
whom  they  have  intermingled. 

In  language  those  of  them  who  have  kept  their  own  speech 
resemble  the  Ottoman  Turks,  but  some  tribes,  like  the  Chulim 
Tartars,  have  lost  their  own  tongue,  and  others  like  the 
'  Kalmuks '  of  the  Altai  have  a  large  number  of  Mongol 
words  in  their  vocabulary. 

Numbers. — The  number  of  Tartars  in  Siberia  is  reckoned 
(1912)  at  176,124.  They  constitute  nearly  a  third  of  the 
Turkic  stock  in  Siberia. 

Divisions. — North  of  the  Siberian  Railway,  in  the  district 
between  Tobolsk  and  Tomsk,  are  two  Tartar  peoples  :  (1) 
The  Baraba  Tartars,  of  whom  there  are  about  55,000,  live  in 
the  Baraba  steppe  between  the  Irtish  and  the  Ob.  They 
are  an  agricultural  people,  who  have  given  way  before  Russian 
encroachment,  and  live  now  in  villages  among  the  marshes 
and  woods.  (2)  The  Chulim  Tartars  are  very  few.  They  live 
on  the  River  Chulim,  a  tributary  of  the  Ob  :  they  have  almost 
entirely  given  up  the  use  of  their  native  speech,  and  live  for 
the  most  part  like  Russian  peasants. 

South  of  the  Siberian  Railway  there  are  two  main  groups  : 

(1)  The  Altaians,  of  whom  there  are  various  subdivisions : 
the  Tartar  Kalmuks  (about  12,000),  who  are  not  really  Kal- 
muks at  all,  as  the  real  Kalmuks  are  Mongolian,  which  this 
Altaian  people  are  not  despite  a  Mongoloid  appearance ;  the 
Teleuts  or  Telengites  (about  5,800)  in  the  Kuznetsk  district ; 
the  Chern  or  Black  Forest  Tartars,  farther  north  on  the  River 
Biya;  the  Shors,  about  11,000,  on  the  Rivers  Tom 
and  Mras-su ;  and  the  Lebed  Tartars,  along  the  Rive 

(2)  The  Abakansk  Tartars,  on  the  Abakansk  steppe  in  th 
valley  of  the  upper  Yenisei,  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Minusinsk 



have  become  much  Russianized  and  lost  many  of  their  national 

Relations  with  Russians. — Many  of  the  tribes  are  adopting 
Russian  costume  and  habits,  and  some  like  the  Chulim 
Tartars  are  losing  their  native  speech.  On  the  whole  relations 
between  the  Russians  and  Kalmuks  are  friendly,  though 
extensions  of  the  activities  of  Russian  tax-gatherers  are 
sometimes  actively  resented.  The  Kalmuks,  probably  as 
so  closely  resembling  the  Mongols  in  appearance,  are  not — 
or  at  any  rate  were  not  lately — allowed  to  perform  military 
service  for  the  Russians,  though  it  is  likely  that  they  would 
make  good  soldiers. 

Social  institutions. — The  Altaians  are  divided  into  clans, 
but  the  separation  is  not  very  marked,  and  people  of  various 
clans  live  together  in  the  same  village.  In  this  they  differ 
very  much  from  their  western  neighbours,  the  Kirghiz.  The 
clans  are  known  as  seoks  (generations),  of  which  there  are 
supposed  to  be  twenty-four,  but  it  is  doubtful  whether  the 
number  has  more  than  a  mystical  significance.  People  of 
the  same  seok  regard  themselves  as  related  to  one  another. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — The  Altaians,  if 
they  may  be  taken  as  representative,  have  flat,  broad 
faces,  small  foreheads  sloping  backwards,  little  eyes  turning 
upwards  at  the  corners,  small  eyebrows,  prominent  cheek- 
bones, snub-noses  too  small  for  the  face,  large  mouths  with 
thick  lips,  which  display  two  rows  of  strong  white  teeth. 
The  chin  is  pointed,  and  they  have  little  or  no  beard.  Their 
complexion  is  dark,  their  hair  and  eyebrows  deep  black,  the 
hair  being  stiff  and  bristly.  As  a  rule  the  men  shave  off 
a  good  part  of  it,  leaving  only  a  patch  on  the  crown  of  the 
head,  which  they  plait  into  a  queue.  They  tend  to  be  short 
and  broad-shouldered,  but  do  not  look  very  strong,  probably 
because  of  the  poor  nourishment  of  a  large  number  of  the 
people.  Their  legs  are  bowed — at  any  rate  this  is  the  case  with 
the  Kalmuks — because  they  have  lived  in  the  saddle  from  their 
earliest  years.  The  women  are  smaller  than  the  men,  but 
look  stronger  :    it  is  they  who  do  a  great  deal  of  the  hardest 


work.  They  have  a  general  reputation  for  being  honest  and 
industrious.  They  are  also  an  imaginative  people,  and  the 
Kalmuks  have  a  considerable  store  of  legends  ;  they  are 
exceedingly  fond  of  their  own  regions,  as  their  songs  show. 
Their  chief  vices  are  dirtiness  and  drink. 

Occupations. — They  are  mostly  nomadic,  and  pursue  a 
pastoral  life,  but  the  Baraba  Tartars  engage  in  agriculture. 
The  Kalmuks  are  great  equestrians,  and  are  brought  up  to 
the  art  of  riding  from  their  earliest  years.  They  carry  most 
of  their  possessions  about  in  sacks  on  their  horses'  backs. 
There  is  a  peculiar  breed  of  horses  in  the  Altai,  but  it  is  seldom 
found  pure  now,  being  much  mixed  with  Russian,  Kirghiz, 
and  Mongolian  stocks.  The  Altaian  horse  has  a  beautiful, 
erect,  '  dry  '  head,  large  eyes,  a  deep  curb-dimple,  a  broad 
throat  and  finely  set  nervous  ears.  The  neck  is  dry,  sinewy, 
and  short  in  proportion  to  the  length  of  the  animal ;  the 
chest  is  broad.  The  withers  are  not  particularly  high,  and 
die  away  with  the  back.  The  shoulders  are  slanting,  the  upper 
part  of  the  thigh  strong  and  sinewy,  the  knee  broad,  the  pastern 
steep  and  short  :  the  hoof  is  steep  and  small,  very  firm,  and 
except  for  a  large  frog,  has  a  normal  form.  Most  have  a  bright 
colour.  The  height  is  4  ft.  2|  ins.,  the  length  4  ft.  9  ins. 
Besides  its  beautiful  bodily  form,  the  Altaian  horse  is  dis- 
tinguished for  speed  and  cleverness. 

They  also  have  a  special  race  of  horned  cattle  :  the  cows 
give  plentiful  good  milk.  The  Altai  Mountains  are  a  paradise 
for  cattle-breeding,  the  numerous  streams  and  short  grass 
offering  good  nourishment  for  horses  and.  horned  cattle  ; 
there  is  also  good  pasture  for  sheep  and  goats.  There  are  no 
harmful  insects,  and  the  pastures  are  free  from  snow  in  winter, 
so  that  the  animals  can  get  their  own  food. 

Dwellings. — The  Tartars  live  in  yurts,  which  are  like  those 
of  the  Kirghiz,  but  their  villages  are  less  exclusive  than  the 
mils  of  the  Kirghiz,  more  families  dwelling  together. 

Clothing  and  food. — They  wear  a  sort  of  shirt  with  a  cape  ; 
the  sleeves  of  the  shirt  are  long,  reaching  half-way  down  the 
hand  ;    the  shirt  is  held  together  by  a  girdle,  and  is  made  of 


some  blue  Russian  cloth,  or  blue  or  brown  Chinese  material. 
They  wear  trousers  of  the  same  material,  wide  and  reaching 
just  below  the  knee.  Sometimes  the  trousers  are  made  of 
roe-leather.  The  shirt  hangs  free  over  the  trousers,  just 
below  the  waist.  The  footwear  consists  of  shoes  without 
heels,  reaching  to  the  knee,  made  in  summer  of  dressed  sheep- 
skin, and  in  winter  of  undressed  skin  with  the  hair  outside. 
They  wear  felt  stockings  projecting  about  two  inches  above  the 
stock  of  the  shoe,  and  between  the  stocking  and  stock  of  the 
right  leg  they  put  their  tobacco-pouch  and  pipe  with  the 
stem  projecting.  Over  their  shirt  they  wear  a  cloth  jacket, 
with  sleeves  reaching  to  the  elbows,  and  with  long  pockets 
hanging  down.  Above  this  they  may  wear  a  leather  coat  in 
summer  or  a  skin  coat  in  winter,  with  a  belt  holding  a  pouch, 
knife,  &c.  On  their  heads  the  Altaian  Tartars  wear  a  three- 
cornered  hat,  the  point  being  behind,  with  erect  rims.  It  is 
made  of  lamb-skin,  and  is  covered  with  some  yellow  material, 
with  a  red  oval  flap  sewn  on  the  top.  From  the  corner  behind 
hang  two  red  ribbons,  one  and  a  half  feet  long.  They  eat 
mutton,  whether  the  meat  of  the  domestic  sheep,  or  of  the 
big-horn  that  frequents  the  Altai ;  they  are  also  fond  of  the 
flesh  of  horses.  Though  they  own  large  herds  of  cattle,  they 
do  not  eat  them. 

Religion. — The  Baraba  Tartars  are  Mohammedans.  The 
Southern  Tartars  are  either  Christian  or  heathen.  One  of 
the  outward  and  visible  signs  of  Christianity  is  the  absence  of 
a  queue  on  the  top  of  the  head  ;  another  is  monogamy.  They 
have  many  superstitions,  and  Shamanism  is  prevalent  among 
them.    Polytheism  is  common. 

Other  Tartar  Branches 

In  the  above  description  the  Altaians  and  more  especially 
their  western  branch,  the  Kalmuks,  have  been  dealt  with. 
A  few  words  will  suffice  about  the  other  branches.  The  Teleuts 
in  the  eastern  Altai  have  much  the  same  appearance  as  the 
Kalmuks,  but  they  are  more  settled,  and  engage  in  agriculture. 
Their  language  and  poetry  is  of  much  the  same  character. 


The  Shors  live  mostly  by  fishing,  and  are  very  poor.  In  lan- 
guage, religion,  and  costume  they  have  become  much  assimi- 
lated to  the  Russians.  Closely  resembling  them  are  the 
Lebed  Tartars.  The  Chern  Tartars  live  by  hunting,  trade,  and 
cattle-breeding.  One  profitable  product  of  their  land  is  wild 
honey.  They  also  sow  barley  and  wheat.  They  are  extremely 

In  addition  to  these  tribes  of  the  Altai  and  its  northern 
foreland,  there  is  the  important  Turkic  stem  of  the  Kirghiz, 
with  its  two  great  branches,  the  Kara-Kirghiz  and  the  Kazak. 

The  first-named,  whose  appellation  means  '  black ',  are 
really  outside  the  area  described  in  this  book.  They  are 
found  in  great  numbers  in  the  government  of  Semiryechensk, 
especially  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Lake  Issuk-Kul  and  in 
the  steppes  south  of  Lake  Balkhash.  They  number  in  all 
about  800,000,  of  whom  700,000  are  in  this  government. 
They  are  governed  by  tribal  rulers,  elected  by  themselves, 
who  enjoy  unlimited  authority  and  with  whom  the  Russian 
administration  interferes  but  little.  They  carry  on  a  vigorous 
trade  in  live-stock  breeding — horses,  cattle,  sheep,  goats, 
pigs  and  camels. 


Territory. — This  great  people  are  found  from  Lake  Balkhash 
to  the  Aral  and  Caspian  Seas  and  to  the  lower  Volga,  and  also 
in  the  regions  of  the  upper  Irtish  and  Ob. 

Name. — The  name  by  which  they  are  always  known  among 
themselves  is  Kazak,  which  means  '  rider  '  and  is  the  same 
word  that  we  know  in  the  form  Cossack.  But  the  Russians, 
since  the  word  Cossack  has  come  to  mean  something  very 
different,  call  them  loosely,  but  conveniently,  Kirghiz. 

Racial  affinities  and  language. — They  should  be  carefully 
differentiated  from  the  Kara-Kirghiz,  though  they  share  so 


many  of  their  customs  and  ways  of  life,  for  they  differ  in 
physiognomy  and  language.  The  Kara-Kirghiz  seem  to  have 
come  from  the  Altai,  the  Kazak-Kirghiz  from  Asia  Minor. 

leir  language  is  Turkic  in  structure,  but  contains  a  large 
Lber  of  Mongolian,  Arabic,  and  Persian  words. 
r umbers. — They  are  said  to  number  between  two  and  three 
ions,  and  increase  steadily  as  one  goes  further  south. 
Hvisions. — They  are  divided  into  three  Hordes,  which  are 

>divided  into  races  and  tribes.     The  Great  Horde  lives  in 
region  south-east  of  Lake  Balkhash  from  Semipalatinsk 

;he  Ala-tau  Range,  the  Middle  Horde  occupies  the  watershed 
between  the  Aralo-Caspian  basin  and  the  River  Ob,  the  Little 
Horde  is  mainly  between  the  Aral  and  Caspian  Sea.  A  fourth 
Horde,  called  the  Inner  Horde,  has  been  settled  since  1801 
in  the  Orenburg  district.  The  higher  orders  of  the  Kirghiz 
are  divided  into  White  Bones  (Ak-sijuk)  and  Black  Bones 
(Kara-sijuk),  according  as  they  are  descended  from  khans 
and  '  saints  '  or  other  ancestors. 

Social  institutions. — They  choose  their  own  khans,  who  have 
authority  in  their  respective  tribes,  but  little  beyond  them. 
These  appointments  are  confirmed  by  the  Russian  Govern- 
ment. The  real  rulers  are  the  elders,  who  are  appointed  by 
public  election.  Rigorous  punishment  is  dealt  out  to  the 
brigandage  and  raids  which  arise  from  inter-tribal  feuds. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — They  are  allied 
ethnically  to  the  Mongolians,  and  preserve  strongly  marked 
Mongolian  features  though  with  admixture  of  Finnish  and 
Iranian  blood.  They  are  middle-sized,  square-built,  and 
inclined  to  be  stout.  They  are  brachycephalous  with  small 
slanting  eyes,  which  are  usually  black,  high  cheekbones 
broad,  flat  nose,  small  mouth,  long  black  hair,  and  very  little 
beard  on  the  face,  which  is  usually  of  a  yellowish-brown  hue, 
but  occasionally  fair.  Their  hands  and  feet  are  small.  They 
are  an  honest  and  trustworthy  people,  but  have  a  sullen  and 
unfriendly  manner,  and  more  so,  the  nearer  that  they  dwell  to 
civilization.  They  are  more  warlike  than  the  Kara-Kirghiz. 
They  are  a  hardy,  long-lived  people,  but  suffer  from  dirt, 


small-pox,  ophthalmia  and  syphilis.  They  are  very  fond  of 
recitation,  but  have  no  dances.  Their  musical  instruments 
are  the  kobys,  a  string  instrument,  and  suvusya  (a  kind  of 

Occupations. — The  Kazaks  have  vast  flocks  and  herds, 
which  constitute  their  main  wealth,  and  they  are  admirable 
horsemen.     They  are  employed  in  the  mines  and  in  fishing. 

Dwellings. — They  are  nomadic  and  have  no  settled  homes, 
though  apt  to  fix  their  summer  tents  year  after  year  at  the 
same  spot,  when  they  are  driven  by  drought  and  insects  to 
the  upper  mountain  pastures.  They  live  in  yurts,  which  are 
circular  tents  of  light  wooden  framework  with  coverings  of 
red  cloth  or  felt,  and  a  hole  at  the  top  for  light  and  ventilation. 
The  whole  can  be  set  up  or  pulled  to  pieces  in  a  few  minutes  : 
its  weight  is  about  10-12  puds  (360-430  pounds),  and  it  makes 
a  load  for  two  camels.  The  height  is  from  8  to  15  ft.,  the 
diameter  from  10  to  30  ft.  The  winter  yurts  (zimovkas)  have 
coverings  of  felt  two  or  three  times  as  great.  An  invariable 
feature  of  the  yurt  is  the  kazan  or  large  iron  pot  in  the  centre. 

Clothing  and  food. — The  ordinary  dress  is  a  chapan,  a 
flowing  robe  ;  the  number  worn  is  determined  by  the  season 
of  the  year  and  the  material  by  the  wealth  of  the  wearer. 
This  is  fastened  by  a  girdle  of  silk  or  leather,  which  contains 
his  knife,  tobacco-pouch,  and  other  inseparable  accessories. 
Broad  silk  pantaloons  are  worn,  and  black  or  red  leather  boots. 
There  is  little  difference  in  the  costumes  of  the  two  sexes. 
A  malachai  envelopes  head  and  neck  and  most  of  the  face. 
Sometimes  three  pairs  of  shoes  are  worn  :  first  a  loose  pair  of 
thin  embroidered  leather  boots  (with  moccasin  soles),  then 
felt  boots  (pimi)  of  solid  wool  about  one  inch  thick,  and  then 
stout  leather  boots,  all  coming  well  above  the  knee.  Sometimes 
there  is  also  worn  a  stout  overcoat  reaching  to  the  knee,  lined 
with  curly- wool  sheep-skin. 

For  food  they  devour  horseflesh  and  vast  quantities  of 
boiled  mutton.  Instead  of  bread  they  eat  balamyk,  a  mass  of 
flour  fried  in  dripping  and  diluted  in  water.  .  They  drink 
kumls  (fermented  mare's  milk)  in  large  quantities. 


Marriage  and  position  of  women. — The  women  are  restricted 

less  than  is  usual  among  Mohammedans.    It  is  customary  for 

a  Kirghiz  boy  first  to  marry  a  woman  older  than  himself, 

to  guide  his  footsteps  in  married  life  ;  some  ten  years  later  he 

reds  a  younger  wife,  and  his  earlier  spouse  is  relegated  to  the 

>osition  of  dowager. 

Religion. — Like  the  Kara-Kirghiz,  the  Kazak-Kirghiz  are 
Sunnite  Mohammedans,  but  their  belief  is  of  a  lax  kind  and 
largely  tinged  by  Shamanism.  They  have  few  mullahs,  and 
make  few  pilgrimages  to  Mecca,  though  they  revere  the  tombs 
of  their  local  '  saints  ',  which  are  a  prominent  feature  in  the 
steppe  landscape.  They  have  a  month  of  fasting  called 
Urazah.  The  chief  prescription  of  the  Koran  for  which  they 
show  respect  is  polygamy,  but  that  is  restricted  by  their 
limited  means. 


Territory. — The  Yakuts  occupy  the  valley  of  the  Lena  for 
almost  its  entire  length  :  in  the  north  they  extend  from  the 
Khatanga  to  the  Kolima,  in  the  south  from  the  sources  of 
the  Vilyui  to  the  Sea  of  Okhotsk. 

Name  of  tribe. — They  call  themselves  Sokha  or  Sakhor  : 
there  is  still  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Minusinsk  a  Tartar 
tribe  called  Sekho,  who  may  have  retained  the  name  from 
a  time  anterior  to  the  northward  migration  of  the  Yakuts. 
They  owe  their  name  Yakut  to  their  Tungus  neighbours  who 
call  them  Yako  or  Yakot.  One  branch  is  found  between  the 
Yenisei  and  Khatanga  Rivers  in  the  Government  of  Yeniseisk, 
who  are  known  as  Dolgans  or  Tolgans  :  they  are  a  fishing, 
nomadic  folk. 

Racial  affinities  and  language. — The  Yakuts  belong  to  the 
Turkic  branch  of  the  Ural-Altaic  stock,  and  their  language 
presents  close  resemblances  to  that  of  the  Turks.  There  is  a 
Yakut  grammar  by  Boethlingk  (published  in  1851). 

Numbers. — Including  the  Dolgans,  they  are  computed  at 
226,739,  of  whom  113,330  are  males.  Their  marriages  are 
fertile,  with  an  average  of  about  ten  to  a  family,  but  less 

L  2 


productive  as  one  goes  north.  They  are  increasing  in  numbers 
and  absorb  a  large  number  of  Russian  settlers,  who  learn 
their  language  and  adopt  their  customs. 

History  and  relations  with  Russians. — They  were  expelled 
from  the  Baikal  region  about  the  thirteenth  century  by  the 
Mongol  Buryats,  and  driven  northwards.  They  had  to  go 
far  north  to  escape  the  depredations  of  their  Tungus  neigh- 
bours, but  they  have  now  proved  themselves  considerably 
their  superiors,  and  their  settlements  are  extending  south 
again,  while  the  Tungus  are  giving  way  before  their  superior 
civilization.  The  Cossacks  found  them  in  1620,  at  a  time  when 
they  were  the  prey  of  internal  dissensions. 

Social  institutions— They  are  divided  into  uluses,  naslegs, 
and  aga-usa  (clans).  Over  the  ulus,  the  biggest  division, 
presides  the  golovd  with  an  uprava,  a  kind  of  police-court ; 
several  naslegs  go  to  make  up  the  ulus  :  they  are  administered 
by  a  district  council  under  a  district  elder  called  kujas.  The 
nasleg  consists  of  from  one  to  thirty  clans,  the  clan  sometimes 
being  composed  of  a  few  individuals,  sometimes  of  several 
hundreds.  The  council  of  elders  of  the  clan,  which  used  to 
decide  all  legal  and  economic  questions,  was  called  ogonyor. 
The  Russians  used  to  tax  the  Yakuts  in  furs  ;  now  they  tax 
them  in  coin.  A  poll-tax  of  4  roubles  is  or  was  levied  on 
them,  the  richer  among  them  paying  income  tax  as  well. 
The  clans  were  originally  very  large,  when  the  Yakuts  owned 
great  herds  of  horses ;  now  that  cattle-rearing  predominates, 
the  herds  and  the  clans  have  become  smaller.  A  clan  by  its 
own  laws  is  responsible  for  the  crimes  committed  by  its 
members  ;  sometimes  one  clan  makes  an  alliance  with  another, 
celebrated  by  joint  sacrifice  and  festival  (ysyakh).  Marriage- 
gifts  are  also  a  symbol  of  reconciliation  between  clans,  and 
compensation  for  damage  done  in  their  feuds. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — The  Yakuts  differ 
from  one  another  in  physique  more  than  any  other  Turkic 
or  Mongol  people.  Those  that  are  well-off  and  can  get  enough 
to  eat  are  from  5  ft.  10  ins.  to  6  ft.  tall :  they  are  well-pro- 
portioned   with    good    chest-measurement,  and    are    robust 

YAKUTS  165 

and  active ;  but  in  the  north,  owing  to  severity  of  climate  and 
badness  of  food,  we  find  a  very  different  type  :  they  are  below 
medium  height,  with  a  sickly  complexion,  and,  unlike  most 
Yakuts,  are  indolent.  Ordinarily  they  are  thick-set,  robust, 
and  muscular.  They  have  black  wiry  hair,  which  the  men 
cut  close  to  the  head,  except  the  Shamans  who  grow  it  long 
and  tie  it  up  behind,  dark  and  elongated  eyes,  broad  flat 
noses,  narrow  foreheads,  small  round  heads  (the  men's  faces 
are  long,  the  women's  oval),  little  beard.  The  women  are 
somewhat  ungainly,  and  do  not  add  to  their  attractions  by 
the  paint  and  excessive  ornament  that  they  affect,  and  the 
adoption  of  European  costume  still  further  diminishes  their 
charms.  The  mode  of  speech  of  the  Yakuts  is  slow,  discon- 
nected and  abrupt.  They  are  described  as  good-tempered, 
orderly  and  hospitable,  with  more  energy  than  their  counten- 
ances suggest.  They  are  capable  of  enduring  a  long  strain, 
and  are  patient  under  privation  ;  but  they  lack  independence, 
and  need  stimulus  :  it  is  said  of  them  :  '  the  more  you  beat 
them,  the  better  they  work.'  They  are  apt  to  fall  into  debt, 
mostly  to  their  own  fellow-countrymen,  for  the  more  enter- 
prising among  them  have  earned  the  reputation  of  being  the 
Jews  of  Siberia.  They  are  fond  of  noise,  song  and  dance  ; 
their  improvised  songs  have  deadly  monotony  as  they  consist 
of  eternal  repetitions  of  one  phrase. 

They  measure  distance  in  terms  of  time  ;  for  instance 
a  kess  is  the  distance  done  in  the  time  it  takes  a  kettle  to  boil, 
a  sufficiently  elastic  term  (see  p.  141). 

They  are  passionately  fond  of  cards  ;  when  giving  their 
horses  rest  on  their  journeys,  they  instantly  produce  their 
cards,  and  are  ready  to  stake  anything.  They  are  great 
eaters  and  drinkers,  great  smokers  of  tobacco,  and  extra- 
ordinarily fond  of  sleep.  They  are  probably  the  most  intelli- 
gent of  the  Siberian  native  tribes,  though  the  Buryats  are 
better  educated.  They  carve  figures  of  human  beings  which 
they  fashion  out  of  mammoth -tusks  :  but  these  are  rigid  and 
lifeless,  with  only  an  outward  resemblance  to  what  they  repre- 
sent, and  much  inferior  to  those  of  the  Koryaks.     Even  these 


specimens  of  their  plastic  art  are  rare  and  merely  made  for 
commercial  purposes,  to  sell  to  the  Russians.  They  take  no 
pleasure  in  them  themselves. 

Occupations. — Their  principal  occupations  are  looking  after 
horses  and  cattle  :  the  former  has  been  their  industry  for 
a  very  long  time,  the  latter  has  been  more  recently  adopted. 
They  also  hunt  and  fish,  and  search  for  fossil-ivory.  Cereals 
have  been  introduced  into  their  country  and  are  becoming 
acclimatized.  They  smelted  the  iron-ore  of  the  Vilyui  valley 
long  before  the  Russians  came,  and  they  manufacture  their  own 
tools.  Yakut  steel  is  very  flexible,  but  very  good.  They  have 
only  lately  begun  to  breed  dogs.  They  regard  the  dog  as  an 
unclean  animal,  and  as  having  no  hut  (soul)  ;  they  are  harsh 
to  their  dogs  ;  it  is  a  gross  offence  against  good  manners  to 
introduce  a  dog  into  a  Yakut's  house  '  because  of  the  evil 
spirits  that  sit  on  its  tail'.  Their  habit  of  horse-breeding 
led  to  them  setting  the  yurtas  at  a  considerable  distance 
from  one  another,  because  it  was  necessary  to  have  plenty 
of  pasturage  for  their  big  herds  ;  if  they  had  exhausted  the 
pasturage  near  home,  it  would  have  been  necessary  to  send 
the  horses  a  long  way,  which  would  have  meant  risk  from 
the  negligence  or  dishonesty  of  the  keepers. 

Dwellings  and  furniture. — Their  winter-dwellings  are  yurtas 
made  of  logs  :  the  doors  are  made  of  raw  hides,  the  walls 
of  logs  or  wicker,  caulked  with  cow-dung  and  flanked  with 
banks  of  earth  to  the  height  of  the  windows.  In  place  of  glass 
they  have  in  the  windows  either  skins  or  sheets  of  ice  which 
are  kept  in  place  by  slanting  poles,  and  frozen  afresh  into 
their  positions  at  intervals  by  pouring  water  round  the  edges. 
The  roofs  are  flat  and  covered  with  earth.  The  door  faces  east, 
and  is  protected  by  projecting  boards.  Inside  the  yurta  is 
divided  into  two  '  apartments  '  :  one  is  for  the  cattle,  the 
other  divided  into  sections  for  the  family.  In  the  middle  is 
a  round  chimney  made  of  wood,  but  guarded  against  risk  of 
fire  by  a  thick  covering  of  clay.  In  this  chimney  are  placed 
cross-beams,  from  which  they  hang  their  kettles  and  pots. 
Their  chief  cooking  utensil  is  a  large  iron  pot ;    this  was  so 

YAKUTS  167 

valuable  when  the  Russians  invaded  their  territory  that  the 
price  demanded  for  it  was  as  many  sable-skins  as  would  fill 
it.  In  the  summer  they  live  in  conical  tents  of  birch-bark  ; 
the  poles  of  which  these  are  made  are  about  20  ft.  long,  united 
at  the  top  ;  these  are  covered  with  pieces  of  flexible  birch- 
bark,  '  handsomely  worked  along  the  edge  with  horsehair 

Clothing  and  food. — The  Yakuts  are  capable  of  standing 
extreme  cold,  and  are  found  going  about  in  very  light  attire  in 
winter,  while  their  children  sport  naked  in  the  snow.  Their 
costume  differs  less  in  the  various  seasons  than  that  of  other 
Siberian  peoples.  Those  who  live  in  the  Okhotsk  region  have 
partly  adopted  Russian  costume,  and  partly  retained  the 
native  dress — the  kukhlyanlca  and  tarbass.  They  also  wear  the 
sarafan  (a  long  overcoat  without  sleeves),  but  not  the  orna- 
mented cloak  (made  of  fur  of  special  cut)  and  the  beaver  cape, 
of  which  their  compatriots  in  the  Yakutsk  region  are  so  proud. 
Their  breeches  come  only  down  the  thigh,  and  they  have  long 
boots  (farri)  which  come  above  the  knee.  Their  summer- 
dress  is  the  robashka  (overshirt)  and  balachon  (blouse)  ; 
in  winter  they  wear  costumes  of  skins.  The  women  are 
adept  in  making  up  fur-garments.  Their  dress  only  differs 
from  that  of  the  men  by  its  greater  length  and  ornamentation. 
The  principal  food  of  the  Okhotsk  Yakuts  is  dried  fish  ;  the 
inland  tribes  eat  horseflesh  with  avidity :  they  prefer  it  to 
beef,  and  rarely  kill  oxen  for  food.  One  special  dish  of  theirs 
is  called  tar  :  it  is  a  mixture  of  meat,  fish,  various  roots, 
grass  and  the  under-bark  of  spruce,  fir,  or  larch,  pounded  in 
a  mortar  ;  this  is  put  into  skimmed-milk  mixed  with  water 
to  which  is  added  a  little  flour  (when  available),  and  the  whole 
is  boiled  into  a  kind  of  porridge.  They  gather  their  bark 
harvest  in  spring,  when  the  sap  is  rising.  Their  special  intoxi- 
cant is  kumis  (fermented  mare's  milk)  ;  they  also  drink  large 
bowls  of  melted  butter.  Another  of  their  delicacies  is  jelly 
extracted  from  reindeer-horns  and  flavoured  with  pine-bark. 
They  collect  huge  quantities  of  berries  and  cedar-cones  for 
food.    They  are  also  great  consumers  of  tea. 


Marriage  and  death. — The  clans  consist  of  blood  relations. 
Their  marriages  are  exogamous,  but  the  influence  of  their 
neighbours,  the  Yukaghir,  has  led  the  Arctic  Yakuts  to 
introduce  endogamous  marriage,  and  the  frequent  sexual 
relations  that  take  place  before  marriage  are  always  endo- 
gamous. The  marriage  ceremony  contains  an  exchange  of 
gifts,  the  bridegroom  brings  kalym,  the  bride  anna  (dowry). 
When  the  Cossacks  came,  they  found  polygamy  general, 
owing  no  doubt  to  the  nomadic  character  of  the  people,  the 
Yakut  having  a  wife  in  every  pasture ;  but  this  is  not  much 
practised  now,  partly  because  the  high  price  of  the  kalym  is 
a  deterrent,  partly  because  girls  die  more  frequently  than 
boys  in  infancy,  as  they  are  not  so  carefully  tended.  When 
an  important  man  is  buried  his  best  horse  is  killed  and  eaten, 
and  the  head  and  hide  in  one  piece  are  set  up  as  a  memorial. 
In  the  case  of  a  woman  a  cow  takes  the  place  of  a  horse. 

Religion  and  superstition. — The  Yakuts  have  been  nominally 
Christian  since  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth  century, 
when  the  Tsar  declared  that  they  had  merited  this  privilege, 
of  which  many  of  them  remained  absolutely  unconscious. 
They  go  to  church,  but  have  a  very  hazy  idea  of  their  nominal 
religion.  Their  native  chief  god  is  Tangra.  They  have  also 
many  malevolent  spirits,  who  are  distinguished  by  the  names 
of  colours  ;  cattle  and  horses  are  sacred  to  the  spirit  whose 
colour  they  bear. 

They  have  many  customs  and  superstitions.  No  woman 
other  than  the  hostess  may  give  anything  to  eat  or  drink  to 
a  male  stranger  before  the  fire-place,  but  must  walk  round 
the  chimney  to  present  it.  It  is  wrong  to  wash  plates  ;  such 
waste  will  produce  scarcity  ;  earthern  vessels  are  cleaned  by 
being  burnt ;  it  is  not  felt  then  that  anything  is  wasted 
because  the  food  thus  consumed  is  an  offering  to  the  fire, 
which  also  receives  a  small  spoonful  as  an  offering  of  thanks. 
Every  Yakut  has  two  names,  by  one  of  which  he  is  n 


(iv)  Mongolic  Tribes 


Territory. — The  Buryats  live  about  the  shores  of  Lake 
Baikal  in  the  Provinces  of  Irkutsk  and  Transbaikal.  The}7 
extend  from  the  frontier  to  the  Lena  valley  and  the  north-east 
end  of  Lake  Baikal,  and  from  the  River  Ingoda  to  the  River 
Oka.     There  are  11  tribes  of  them,  4  west  of  Baikal,  7  east. 

Racial  affinities  and  language. — They  are  the  principal 
Mongol  tribe  in  Siberia,  and  speak  a  Mongol  dialect,  distinct 
alike  from  the  literary  Mongolian  language  and  from  the 
speech  of  the  Kalmuks,  who  are  closest  to  them  in  racial 
affinity.  This  tongue  they  have  preserved  in  comparative 
purity,  as  knowledge  of  reading  and  writing  is  common 
among  them,  and  they  have  books  of  their  own  for  which 
they  employ  the  Manchu  alphabet.  There  are  three  distinct 
dialects  of  it. 

Divisions. — The  north-west  group  of  Buryats  are  known  as 
Bargu-Buryats,  the  south-west  group  as  Mongol-Buryats,  and 
the  eastern  group  as  Aga-Buryats.  The  first  two  groups  claim 
their  descent  from  two  different  ancestors,  Bukha  Noyna 
and  Bargubata.  The  Buryats  round  Novi-Selenginsk  claim 
as  their  ancestor  Jenghiz  Khan.  He  it  was  who  forced  this 
people  northwards  in  the  thirteenth  century,  when  they 
arrived  on  the  upper  Amur. 

Numbers. — The  population  of  the  Buryats  is  increasing. 
The  most  recent  estimate  is  288,599,  of  whom  175,717  are 
males.  About  three-fifths  of  these  live  in  Transbaikal  and 
two-fifths  in  Irkutsk. 

Relations  with  Russians. — The  Russians  conquered  them 
in  the  seventeenth  century  after  a  vigorous  resistance,  but 
since  then  they  have  been  among  the  most  peaceful  and  trust- 
worthy of  the  inhabitants  of  Siberia.  They  join  the  Cossack 
regiments  of  the  Transbaikal,  and  even  in  1761  there  was 
a  regiment  of  Selenginsk  Buryats.  They  do  not  chafe  at 
having  to  perform  military  service,  which  probably  is  not 
an  unwelcome  interlude  in  the  life  of  the  yurta. 


Social  institutions. — The  Russians  have  developed  their 
native  clan-system,  grouping  several  of  their  yagans  (clans) 
into  administrative  clans.  The  head  of  the  clan  is  called 
shelenga  (elder).  The  group  of  clans  is  called  vyedomstva  and 
is  presided  over  by  a  taisha.  One  feature  of  the  collective 
life  of  the  clan  is  the  co-operative  hunt,  which  sometimes 
lasts  for  months.  Over  it  presides  the  tubuchi,  whose  office 
is  often  hereditary.  Another  collective  act  of  a  clan  is  its 
tailgan,  a  public  sacrifice  offered  on  behalf  of  the  clan. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — The  Buryats  are 
broad-shouldered,  inclined  to  be  stout.  They  have  big  heads, 
square  faces,  small  slanting  eyes,  high  cheekbones  far  apart, 
broad  and  flat  noses,  low  foreheads,  thick  lips,  swarthy  and 
yellowish  complexion,  jet-black  hair  and  scanty  beards.  The 
hair  is  cropped  very  close  except  on  the  crown  of  the  head 
where  it  is  made  to  grow  in  a  long  queue  that  hangs  down 
at  the  back.  In  temperament  the  Buryats  are  phlegmatic 
and  patient ;  they  lack  enterprise,  but  have  a  certain  amount 
of  energy  as  shown  in  their  hard  work  as  agriculturists  :  it 
seems  scarcely  fair  to  say  of  them  that  they  are  only  made 
to  work  by  the  stimulus  of  hunger.  They  are  fond  of  drink 
and  tobacco,  and  even  small  children  smoke.  They  are  an 
intellectual  people,  and  under  the  influence  of  Lamaism  have 
books  of  their  own. 

Occupations. — Their  principal  occupations  are  rearing  cattle 
and  horses,  and  they  show  great  attachment  towards  their 
horses.  They  also  hunt  and  fish,  and  under  Russian  influence 
cultivate  to  some  extent  rye  and  wheat.  When  they  have 
taken  to  agriculture,  they  have  proved  better  farmers  than 
the  Russians,  being  indefatigable  in  manuring  and  irrigation. 
They  are  specially  adept  at  silversmith  work,  which  is  known 
throughout  Siberia  as  bratski  work,  bratski  (  =  brothers) 
being  a  name  of  the  Russians  for  the  Buryats.  They  are 
also  successful  as  leather  workers  and  in  the  manufacture  of 
textile  fabrics. 

Dwellings. — Their  yurtas  are  not  in  rows,  but  scattered  , 
and  they  are  surrounded  by  large  enclosures  ;    at  a  distance 


from  the  groups  of  their  dwellings  are  the  large  enclosures 
(ugugi)  where  the  cattle  graze  during  winter  and  where  huge 
crops  of  hay  are  obtained  during  the  summer.  They  are  so 
much  attached  to  the  life  of  the  yurta  that  when  they  live  in 

Souses  they  make  a  hole  in  the  roof  and  have  a  fire  in  the 
itre  of  the  floor. 
Clothing,  food. — In  summer  they  dress  in  silk  and  cotton, 
t  in  winter  in  fur  and  sheepskins.  A  wealthy  bride's 
dowry  will  sometimes  consist  of  as  many  as  40  cases  of  the 
richest  furs.  Their  staple  food  is  boiled  mutton.  They 
drink  a  great  deal  of  brick-tea  and  blend  with  it  rye-meal, 
mutton-fat,  and  salt.  In  the  north  they  use  wood  as  fuel,  in 
the  south  camel's  dung  ('  argols  '). 

Marriage  and  death. — Marriages  are  arranged .  among  the 
Buryats  by  two  families  exchanging  daughters  ;  if  there  are 
only  sons  a  kalym  has  to  be  paid,  which  consists  of  so  many 
cattle.  The  bride  receives  a  dowry,  which  counterbalances 
the  kalym. 

They  used  to  burn  their  dead,  but  the  practice  is  now 
forbidden  by  the  Russian  Government.  The  bodies  of 
shamans  are  still  sometimes  burnt  before  being  placed  in  the 
trunks  of  trees  ;  if  not,  they  are  exposed  on  an  aranga  (plat- 
form). At  the  burial  of  a  Buryat  a  horse  (kholgo)  is  sacrificed. 
In  former  times  the  old  people  were  got  rid  of  by  compelling 
them  to  swallow  strips  of  fat. 

Religion. — The  nominal  religion  of  the  western  Buryats  is 
Christianity  ;  of  the  eastern  Buryats  Lamaism,  the  northern 
form  of  the  Buddhist  religion.  The  Lamas  (who  constitute 
a  large  part  of  the  population  towards  the  Chinese  border) 
are  greatly  reverenced  ;  they  lead  ascetic  lives,  are  forbidden 
the  use  of  spirits  and  tobacco,  do  not  take  animal-life,  and 
are  celibates  ;  they  engage  in  industry  "outside  their  religious 
avocations.  The  chief  of  their  religious  houses  is  the  datsan 
by  Lake  Gusinoe,  where  the  Chambo  Lama  presides.  A  well- 
known  feature  of  their  religious  system  is  the  prayer  wheel. 
The  native  religion  is  polytheistic  ;  each  class  of  gods  seems 
to  have  a  departmental  head,  but  there  is  no  Supreme  Being. 


Buryats  who  have  married  Russian  wives  often  adopt  Chris- 
tianity. But  Shamanism  will  die  hard  ;  if  it  has  annexed  the 
symbol  of  the  Cross  for  its  rites,  it  shows  scanty  signs  of 
falling  otherwise  under  its  influence. 

(v)  Tungusic  Tribes 

Territory  and  racial  affinity. — The  name  of  Tungus  is  applied 
not  to  one  tribe,  but  to  a  whole  group  of  tribes  that  extend 
from  the  Yenisei  valley  to  the  Pacific  Ocean,  broken  up  into 
widely-scattered  groups,  and,  by  intermarriage  with  their 
neighbours  in  different  parts,  developing  very  different 
characteristics.  It  is  extraordinarily  difficult  to  ascertain 
whether  the  account  given  by  travellers  refers  to  one  particular 
tribe  or  to  some  widespread  characteristic  of  the  group. 
Thus  one  traveller,  finding  Tungus  to  the  north  and  east  of 
Yakutsk,  describes  them  as  '  perhaps  the  wildest,  as  they  are 
the  filthiest,  of  any  Siberian  tribe.  They  are  comparatively 
few  (at  most  some  4,000)  and  are  yearly  diminishing  in  number. 
They  profess  no  religion,  are  nomads,  and  gain  a  living  by 
fishing  and  selling  furs  to  Russian  traders,  who  by  the  aid  of 
vodka  and  debauchery  are  slowly  but  surely  decimating 
them  '.  He  does  not  add  a  word  to  give  any  indication  that 
there  are  other  Tungus  tribes  to  whom  this  account  would  be 
utterly  inapplicable,  as,  for  instance,  the  Goldi  with  their 
elaborate  art.  It  is  necessary,  therefore,  to  be  very  cautious 
in  accepting  statements  about  the  Tungus  as  a  whole. 

The  Tungus  are  a  branch  of  the  Ural-Altaic  group,  and 
include  some  tribes  like  the  Manchu  and  the  Solons  who 
hardly  come  into  Russian  dominions  at  all.  They  stretch 
from  the  Taimir  Peninsula  along  the  Yenisei  valley,  across 
the  Vitim  plateau  tb  the  sea-coast  almost  from  Korea  to 
Kamchatka.  The  Amur  and  Ussuri  are  Tungus  streams. 
Along  the  Arctic  Ocean  not  only  are  they  found  in  the  Nisovaya 
tundra,  but  also  between  the  Yana  and  Kolima  Rivers,  and 
certain  Tungus  tribes,  the  Lamuts  and  Olennye,  continue 
along  the  Anyuisk  and  Stanovoi  Mountains  into  the  Chukchee 

TUNGUS  173 

Peninsula.  The  Tungus  proper  are  chiefly  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  the  Tunguska  rivers,  and  between  the  Lower  and 
Middle  Tunguska  is  found  one  special  branch  of  them, 
the  Chapogir.  Some  of  the  tribes  along  the  Amur  are  hybrid 
tribes,  which  are  only  half -Tungus,  but  have  retained  a  form 
of  Tungus  speech ;  others  have  had  their  characteristics 
profoundly  modified  by  neighbourhood  and  intermarriage 
|  with  southern  peoples. 

Name  of  tribe. — Their  diffusion  over  north-east  Russia  is 
probably  responsible  for  the  similarity  of  so  many  implements 
and  customs,  as  they  have  been  adopted  by  their  neighbours. 
Nansen  attributes  to  the  influence  of  the  Tungus  the  practical 
identity  of  type  of  certain  things  (e.  g.  dog-sledges)  in  various 
parts  of  this  vast  region.  Their  name  seems  to  be  Chinese  : 
Tunghu  =  the  people.  The  Samoyedes  call  them  Aias  (  = 
younger  brothers),  which  implies  a  late  immigration. 

History. — Their  oldest  home  was  Manchuria.  Political 
upheavals  in  China  and  the  conquering  hordes  of  Jenghiz 
Khan  drove  them  northwards,  where  earlier  branches  of  their 
people  (the  Sucheni  of  history)  had  already  gone.  The  Russians 
found  them  on  the  Yenisei  at  the  beginning  of  the  seventeenth 
century — the  first  mention  of  their  name  is  in  1612 — and  in 
the  following  century  they  had  severe  struggles  with  their 
strong  neighbours  the  Yakuts. 

Divisions. — The  eighteenth-century  explorers  divided  them 
into  Horse-Tungus,  Reindeer-Tungus,  Dog-Tungus — to  which 
some  have  added  the  names  of  Cattle-Tungus,  Taiga-Tungus, 
and  Steppe-Tungus,  the  last  being  another  name  for  Horse- 
Tungus.  For  purposes  of  Russian  administration  the  Tungus 
proper  have  been  divided  into  Sedentary,  Nomadic,  and 
Wandering  Tungus.  The  former  are  only  1  per  cent,  of  the 
whole  number  ;  they  are  found  chiefly  in  Transbaikal,  have 
intermarried  with  Russian  settlers,  and  have  forgotten  their 
language.  The  Nomadic  Tungus  are  cattle-breeders,who  change 
their  abode  according  to  the  season  of  the  year,  each  clan  having 
its  own  special  region  reserved  for  it.  These  constitute  about 
50  per  cent,  of  the  Tungus  population  and  are  found  in  the 


Transbaikal  and  Yakutsk  Provinces.  The  Wandering  Tungus 
frequent  the  rivers,  except  in  Transbaikal,  and  wander  at 
large  without  a  special  region  being  assigned  them .  They  pay 
little  in  taxation  ;  they  have  preserved  their  nationality 
and  language  best.  These  are  about  45  per  cent,  of  the 
Tungus.  Besides  these  three  divisions  there  are  about  4  per 
cent,  who,  like  the  Buryats,  have  joined  the  Cossack  regi- 
ments. These  are  entirely  exempt  from  taxation.  The  3rd 
regiment  of  Transbaikal  Cossacks  is  entirely  composed  of 
Siberian  natives. 

There  are  two  great  divisions  of  the  Tungus  breed.  The  first 
is  the  North  or  Siberian  :  to  this  may  be  assigned  the  Tungus 
proper  and  the  Chapogir,  Lamuts,  and  Olennye  of  northern 
Siberia,  and  further  south  two  groups  divided  on  a  linguistic 
basis,  to  one  of  which  belong  the  Orochon,  Manegir,  Birar, 
Kile,  to  the  other  the  Olcha,  Oroke,  Negda,  Samagir.  The 
second  is  the  South  or  Manchurian  :  to  this  are  assigned  two 
groups,  on  a  linguistic  basis,  the  first,  with  strong  Mongolian 
influence,  the  Daurians  and  Solons,  the  second  the  Oroche, 
Manchu  and  Goldi.  The  physical  and  linguistic  differences 
do  not  exactly  correspond :  thus  the  Olcha  are  scarcely 
distinguishable  from  the  Gilyaks,  who  speak  a  totally  different 
kind  of  language,  while  the  Samagir,  who  belong  to  the  same 
linguistic  group,  closely  resemble  the  Goldi.  Again,  in  another 
linguistic  group  we  find  that  the  Manegir  and  Birar  resemble 
physically  the  Manchu,  the  Orochon  the  northern  Tungus. 

Numbers. — The  population  of  the  Tungus  is,  altogether, 
76,507  ;  of  the  Tungus  proper,  62,068,  of  whom  31,375  are 
males.  The  numbers  are  diminishing,  owing  to  epidemics 
and  famines. 

Physical  appearance  and  characteristics. — Broadly  speaking, 
there  are  two  types  of  Tungus,  which  can  be  called  North 
and  South.  The  North  Tungus  are  differentiated  by  their 
extremely  short  stature  ;  they  are  said  not  to  average  more 
than  5  ft.  4  ins.  They  have  moderately  big  heads  with  longish 
faces,  broad  at  the  cheeks,  but  narrowing  to  the  forehead; 
the  nose  is  flat  and  broad ;  the  hands  and  feet  are  small.    The 

TUNGUS  175 

South  Tungus  are  taller  ;  the  hands  and  feet  are  distinguished 
by  their  comparative  size  from  those  of  their  neighbours, 
though  a  European  would  not  like  to  try  wearing  their  boots. 
Their  heads  are  moderately  small,  with  a  broad  square  brow 
and  an  almost  straight  and  not  particularly  thick  nose  ;    the 

Iheek-bones  are  more  prominent  than  those  of  the  North 
?ungus  and  the  cheeks  are  hollow  ;  a  certain  amount  of  red 
hows  through  their  olive  complexion.  Both  breeds  have 
•lack  hair  ;  the  beard  is  thin  and  short :  the  eyes  are  dark- 
>rown  and  sunk.  The  mouth  is  wide,  the  lips  thin.  The 
Tungus  have  no  tendency  to  obesity,  but  their  figures  are 
usually  slim,  wiry,  and  well-proportioned.  The  Tungus  are 
a  frank,  good-natured,  and  hospitable  people :  they  have  been 
called  by  Castren  the  '  nobility  of  Siberia  ' .  They  are  said 
to  be  very  honest,  and  fall  an  easy  prey  to  the  Yakut,  who 
trade  with  them.  A  Tungus  will  not  receive  a  present  unless 
he  can  give  one  in  return,  often  of  greater  value.  Keane 
describes  them  as  '  cheerful  under  the  most  depressing  cir- 
cumstances, persevering,  open-hearted,  trustworthy,  modest 
yet  self-reliant,  a  fearless  race  of  hunters,  born  amidst  the 
gloom  of  their  dense  pine-forests,  exposed  from  their  cradle 
to  every  danger  from  wild  beasts,  cold,  and  hunger.  Want 
and  hardships  of  every  kind  they  endure  with  surprising 
fortitude.'  Despite  the  fact  that  some  of  them  enter  military 
service,  they  do  not  amalgamate  with  the  Russians,  who 
have  not  become  assimilated  to  them,  as  they  have  to  some 
extent  to  the  Yakuts  and  Buryats. 

Social  institutions. — The  organization  of  their  family  and 
clan  system  is  fairly  strong  :  it  has  been  retained  most  among 
the  nomadic  tribes  ;  but  Christianity  and  western  civilization 
have  had  a  disintegrating  effect.  The  individual  has  little 
existence  apart  from  his  family  :  it  is  as  families  that  they  go 
in  quest  of  new  hunting-grounds,  whereas  an  individual  never 
leaves  his  family.  A  group  consisting  of  less  than  100  is  called 
a  clan  (tagaun)  ;  above  that  number  it  is  an  orda.  The 
members  of  a  clan  may  not  marry  each  other.  The  clan  used 
to  be  governed  by  a  daruga  whose  office  was  hereditary ;  but 


in  the  eighteenth  century  the  Russians  appointed  native 
administrators,  whose  office  was  mainly  to  collect  taxes.  The 
clan-names  are  usually  those  of  ancestors,  but  are  sometimes 
derived  from  geographical  features  ;  the  Russians  also  give 
names  to  groups  formed  by  themselves  arbitrarily  out  of 
disintegrated  clans. 

Occupations. — They  are  not  given  to  agriculture,  but  most 
of  them  are  reindeer  people,  and  the  names  of  some  of  the 
tribes  like  Oroche  (Oron  =  reindeer)  suggests  that  others  once 
were.  They  hunt  fur-bearing  animals,  the  most  valuable 
of  which  are  the  black  fox,  which  is  rare  (his  skin  is  valued  up 
to  £100),  and  the  sable — a  good  sable -skin  fetches  from 
50s.  to  £10.  One  method  of  securing  the  sable,  if  he  takes 
refuge  in  a  hole,  is  to  cut  off  his  retreat  with  fine  threads 
covered  with  bells,  so  that  if  he  makes  a  dash  out  by  night 
his  movements  may  become  known.  The  Tungus  use  the 
reindeer  not  only  for  drawing  sledges  but  for  riding  ;  they 
use  a  bridle  twisted  round  the  horns,  and  support  themselves 
by  staffs.  When  they  are  reduced  to  poverty  by  the  loss 
of  their  reindeer  they  live  on  fish.  In  summer  the  nomadic 
Tungus  come  to  the  coast  to  fish.  In  March,  or  at  some 
appointed  time,  the  Tungus  assemble  in  their  nomad  camps 
to  pay  the  yassak.  Yurta  and  herd  alike  are  left  in  the  charge 
of  the  wife  during  the  hunting  season.  The  woman  has  to  do  all 
the  work  of  the  house  :  she  has  to  prepare  the  skin  for  the  boots, 
sew  the  clothes,  skin  the  reindeer,  and  make  the  meals  ready. 

Dwellings.— They  have  no  towns,  villages,  or  houses  as  a 
rule,  but  only  tents,  of  which  there  are  seldom  more  than 
2  or  3  together.  In  summer  the  yurta  is  made  of  birch-bark, 
in  winter  of  skins  or,  more  rarely,  logs.  It  is  constructed  with 
perpendicular  sides,  and  a  conical  roof  with  a  vent-hole  for 
the  smoke.  It  is  divided  into  sections,  the  best  of  which  is 
taken  by  the  owner  of  the  tent ;  the  others  are  for  the  grown- 
up children,  and  sometimes  the  labourers  ;  but  these  usually 
have  separate  tents.  One  yurta  will  contain  six  or  eight  of 
these  divisions.  The  quite  poor  construct  their  yurtas  of 
fish-skin  and  not  reindeer-skins. 

TUNGUS  177 

Clothing,  food. — Of  so  widely  scattered  a  people,  who  dwell 
some  of  them  near  the  Pole  and  others  on  the  Chinese  borders, 
it  is  impossible  to  describe  the  costume  in  general  terms. 
One  common  costume  described  consists  of  a  parka  (blouse), 
dacha  (sleeveless  cloak),  pantaloons  worn  by  men  and  women, 
and  cap  and  boots  of  reindeer  skin.  Their  main  food  is  the 
meat  and  milk  of  reindeer,  dried  fish,  and  a  sort  of  cheese. 
They  do  not  care  for  a  vegetarian  diet.  Krahmer  attributes 
to  them  the  dish  tolfcusha,  which  has  been  described  among 
the  Kamchadals. 

Marriage  and  death. — The  son  grows  up  in  his  father's 
house  ;  he  has  no  property  of  his  own  ;  the  father  takes 
even  the  furs  that  his  son's  skill  in  hunting  has  secured.  When 
he  is  married  he  has  his  own  section  of  the  tent.  The  Tungus 
girl  is  free  in  her  choice  of  a  husband,  and  gets  her  own  share 
of  the  inheritance,  though  less  than  that  of  her  brother. 
Marriage  is  exogamous,  but  in  the  north,  as  with  the  Yakuts, 
we  find  tribes  that  are  endogamous  ;  so,  too,  there  is  polygamy 
in  Yeniseisk,  but  few  Tungus  are  rich  enough  to  afford  the 
kalym  for  more  than  one  wife.  The  Tungus  never  burn  their 
dead.  The  corpse  is  usually  sewn  up  in  reindeer-skin,  and 
then  sometimes  put  in  a  wooden  coffin  set  on  high  posts. 
Among  the  pastoral  people  round  Lake  Baikal  it  is  interred 
in  the  ground.  On  returning  from  the  funeral  these  latter 
try  to  obliterate  their  tracks,  or  cut  down  trees  to  bar  the  way, 
in  order  that  the  spirit  of  the  dead  man  may  not  pursue  them. 

Other  customs. — The  Tungus  dance  is  peculiar  ;  they  stamp 
on  the  ground  while  they  repeat  again  and  again  one  particular 
word.  They  have  few  musical  instruments.  The  influence 
of  China  on  the  southern  Tungus  has  led  to  the  development 
of  beautiful  forms  of  art. 

Religion. — In  the  south  a  good  number  of  the  Tungus  are 
Buddhists,  but  in  the  north  Shamanism  prevails.  The 
acceptance  of  Christianity  has  led  rather  to  a  disintegration 
of  clan  customs  than  an  improvement  of  faith  and  morals. 
The  Tungus  is  generally  credited  with  being  very  superstitious. 



A. — Chapogir,  Olennye,  Lamut 

Of  Tungus  tribes  there  are  found  in  the  north,  the  Chapogir 
between  the  Lower  and  Middle  Tunguska,  who  may  be  a  clan 
rather  than  a  tribe,  the  Olennye  between  the  Chaun  and 
the  Anadir,  to  the  north  of  the  Stanovoi  Mountains,  and 
the  Lamuts  who  dwell  in  the  Verkhoyansk  and  Kolima 
districts  of  Yakutsk,  along  the  north  shore  of  the  Sea  of 
Okhotsk  and  along  the  west  coast  of  Kamchatka.  They  are 
about  2,000  in  number,  but  are  dying  out.  They  are  small 
and  wizened,  a  nomadic  people,  who  ride  reindeer  and  drive 
them  in  sledges.  They  are  excellent  shots,  and  some  few  of 
them  are  given  to  fishing.  They  live  in  big  conical  tents, 
covered  in  winter  with  undressed  reindeer-skin,  in  summer 
with  tanned  sheep-skin;  these  tents  are  easily  struck,  and 
they  move  rapidly.  They  retain  their  primitive  simplicity 
and  are  very  religious.  Their  Christianity,  however,  is  tinged 
with  Shamanism.  Few  among  them  can  speak  the  Russian 

B. — Orochon 

In  the  Amur  basin  are  a  large  number  of  tribes,  who  are 
wholly  or  partially  Tungus.  The  most  widely  spread  of  these 
is  the  westernmost  of  them,  the  Orochon  (or  Oronchon  or 
Orocheni).  Their  name  implies  that  they  are  a  reindeer 
people :  we  may  compare  Oroke,  Oroche,  and  probably 
Olcha,  with  I  substituted  for  r,  though  of  these  three  only  the 
Oroke  still  have  reindeer.  They  dwell  in  the  district  north 
and  east  of  Baikal  as  far  as  the  Shilka,  and  along  the  Shilka 
and  Amur  to  the  confluence  with  the  Oldoi,  and  northwards 
along  the  Olekma  valley  almost  to  Olekminsk.  They  resided 
originally  in  Yakutsk  and  emigrated  to  the  Amur  in  1825, 
occupying  part  of  the  territory  of  the  Manegir.  Those  that 
live  to  the  north  of  the  Amur  are  called  Ninagui,  those  that 
live  to  the  south  are  called  Sholgon.  Ravenstein  describes 
them  thus  :  They  are  small  and  spare,  with  thin  limbs. 
They  have  flat  faces,  very  small  and  sleepy-looking  eyes,  of 
black  or  brown  colour,  noses  often  large  and  pointed,  large 


mouths  with  thin  lips,  broad  cheeks.  Their  hair  is  black 
and  smooth  ;  their  eyebrows  are  thin,  and  their  beard  is 
short.  The  Chinese  tax-collectors,  to  whom  their  women 
were  freely  offered,  have  left  their  stamp  on  the  physiognomy 
of  many  of  the  inhabitants.  Their  ordinary  costume  is  a  fur 
or  leather  frock  (gulama)  with  short  and  wide  leather  drawers 
girt  round  the  waist,  and  a  belt,  attached  to  which  are  a  great 
number  of  things  in  daily  use.  The  dress  of  the  women  is 
much  the  same,  only  longer.  Unmarried  girls  can  be  recog- 
nized by  their  headbands  embroidered  with  beads  and  adorned 
with  buttons,  copper  coins,  and  small  pieces  of  tin. 

They  are  a  nomadic  tribe.  Their  tents  are  conical,  easily 
built  and  removed.  They  have  some  twenty  poles  stuck  in 
the  ground  to  form  a  circle  of  from  10-14  ft.  in  diameter, 
tied  together  about  10  ft.  above  the  centre.  The  frame  is 
covered  with  birch-bark,  and  that  again  with  skins  of  the 
reindeer  and  elk.  In  front  there  is  an  opening  to  serve  as 
a  door,  and  above  a  hole  for  a  chimney.  When  they  remove 
temporarily  they  leave  the  frame  and  merely  remove  the 
bark  and  skins.  The  seat  of  honour  opposite  the  entrance 
is  never  occupied  by  women.  In  front  are  scaffoldings  for 
drying  fish  and  meat,  and  storehouses  for  keeping  what  they 
do  not  carry  away  on  their  excursions  ;  these  are  never 
locked,  but  no  one  thinks  of  robbing  them. 

In  catching  fish  they  use  harpoons  for  large  fish  and  a  snare 
(samolov)  for  small  fish. 

The  Orochon  are  nominally  Christian,  but  keep  up  a  good 
deal  of  the  old  Shamanism.  They  wear  teeth  and  claws  of 
animals  as  amulets,  and  erect  idols  made  of  wood  and  fur  in 
their  yurtas. 

C. — Manegir 

What  is  said  of  the  Orochon  is  mostly  applicable  to  their 
eastern  neighbours,  the  Manegir  (Manyargs,  Manegr),  who 
live  along  both  banks  of  the  Amur  from  the  mouth  of  the 
Oldoi  to  the  mouth  of  the  Zeya,  and  up  that  river  and  its 
tributaries  to  about  lat.  54°  N.  Their  languages  are  closely 
akin,  both  accenting  on  the  last  syllable,  while  their  more 

M  2 


northerly  Tungus  neighbours  accent  on  the  penultimate,  but 
in  their  physical  characteristics  the  Manchu  type  is  more 
discernible,  while  the  Orochon  more  resemble  the  northern 
Tungus.  The  great  difference  between  them  is  that,  whereas 
both  tribes  are  nomadic,  the  Orochon  employ  reindeer,  the 
Manegir  horses.  In  religion  they  are  definitely  Shamanist. 
They  dwell  on  the  river-banks  in  summer  and  frequent  the 
taiga  in  winter.  They  have  large  herds  of  horses.  They  are 
said  to  keep  their  horses  in  condition  by  not  feeding  them 
for  a  day  before  a  long  journey,  and  for  five  or  six  days  after 

D. — Birar 
Further  down  the  Amur,  after,  a  short  interval,  where 
a  corner  on  the  left  bank  is  occupied  by  the  Daurians,  come 
the  tribe  of  the  Birar  (called  by  Middendorff  Bural  or  Byral 
Tungus).  These  dwell  in  the  valley  of  the  Bureya  and  its 
confluents  as  far  as  the  prairie  extends,  i.  e.  up  to  about 
lat.  53°  N.  Down  the  Amur  they  are  found  to  the  mouth 
of  the  River  Dichun.  They  are  closely  akin  to  the  Manegir, 
whom  they  resemble  in  physiognomy  and  language,  both 
borrowing  words  from  the  Chinese,  Manchu,  and  Daurians. 
Like  the  Manegir,  they  are  Horse-Tungus. 

E.— Kile 
East  of  these  again,  on  the  valleys  of  the  Urmi  and  Kur, 
but  not  reaching  to  the  Amur,  are  the  Kile.  Information 
about  them  is  extremely  scanty,  but  they  seem  to  have  been 
formerly  a  tribe  of  reindeer-nomads,  who  have  settled  on 
the  River  Kur  and  taken  to  fishing  and  hunting.  Possibly 
the  tribesman  whom  Middendorff  calls  Guragr  was  one  of 
these,  i.e.  Kur-dweller. 

F. — Negda,  Sanagir,  Olcha,  Oroke 

These  tribes  form  a  second  group  of  Amur-Tungus,  con- 
nected together  by  their  language.  The  Negda  (Nigidals  or 
Neidalz  (Russ.))  follow  the  course  of  the  Amgun  to  its  con- 


fluence  with  the  Amur.  They  only  occupy  a  few  points 
beyond  the  Amgun.  They  seem  to  be  a  blend  of  Tungus  and 

The  Sanagir  (Shanogir)  are  mostly  along  the  upper  and 
middle  course  of  the  River  Gorin,  but  the  mouth,  like  that  of 
the  Kur,  is  occupied  by  the  Goldi,  whom  physically  they 
closely  resemble.  They  have  not  always  been  distinguished 
from  the  Negda. 

The  Olcha  (Manguns)  occupy  the  lower  waters  of  the  Amur 
from  the  mouth  of  the  Gorin  to  Bogorodskoe  and  to  the  sea 
at  de  Castries  Bay.  Physically  they  present  a  Tungus  type, 
but  with  great  modifications  ;  they  are  said  by  Schrenk  to 
be  a  cross  between  the  Tungus  and  the  Gilyak,  and  Gilyak 
influence  is  discernible  in  their  language  ;  others  have  held 
them  to  be  more  definitely  of  Mongol  origin.  They  are  less 
energetic  than  the  Gilyak,  and  have  not  to  the  same  extent 
kept  out  the  Russian  traders,  who  have  had  a  demoralizing 
influence  upon  them.  They  keep  dogs  in  large  numbers,  and 
have  a  special  table  in  their  houses  reserved  for  feeding  them, 

The  Oroke  are  the  last  tribe  in  this  group.  They  occupy 
settlements  along  the  east  coast  and  in  the  interior  of  Sakhalin. 
They  number  749,  of  whom  395  are  males.  As  early  as  1709 
there  are  allusions  to  reindeer-holding  inhabitants  of  Sakhalin. 
Mamia  Rinzo  calls  them  Orotskoe.  Klaproth  thinks  that  the 
Manchus  gave  the  name  of  Oron  to  all  the  Tungus  people. 
Their  character  is  said  to  be  rough  and  unbridled.  They 
have  no  permanent  habitation,  but  dwell  in  yurtas  easily 
removed.  They  own  reindeer,  as  their  name  implies  ;  a  man 
is  supposed  to  be  well  off  who  owns  twelve.  They  do  not 
shave  their  heads,  but  allow  the  hair  to  fall  over  the  shoulders, 
or  tie  it  up  in  a  pigtail  which  hangs  down  behind.  The  clothes 
are  made  of  fish-skin,  seal-skin,  and  deer-skin,  the  latter  being 
specially  used  for  the  trousers.  The  women's  gowns  are 
ornamented  with  brass  decorations,  and  they  have  linen 
aprons,  the  material  being  procured  by  trading  journeys  to  the 
Amur.  For  hunting  they  use  bows  and  arrows  and  spears. 
Their  food  consists  of  fish,  meat,  roots,  and  herbs. 


G. — Daurians 
Of  the  south  or  Manchurian  group  the  Daurians  come  up 
to  the  Amur  below  Blagovyeshchensk  and  occupy  the  right 
bank  from  that  town  down  to  Kadagan.  Physically  they 
are  hard  to  distinguish  from  the  Manchu  ;  they  have  oval 
and  intellectual  faces  ;  their  cheeks  are  less  broad  than  those 
of  their  other  Tungus  neighbours  ;  the  nose  is  rather  pro- 
minent, the  eyebrows  are  straight,  the  skin  tawny-coloured, 
and  the  hair  brown.  There  is  a  theory  that  they  are  the 
remains  of  a  Chinese -Mongol  military  colony;  but  although 
their  language  contains  many  Chinese  words,  it  is  notable 
that  among  the  names  of  animals  those  that  are  Chinese  arc 
the  names  of  marketable  animals,  the  others  being  Tungus. 
They  are  a  tall,  strong  people.  They  have  assimilated 
Chinese  customs  to  a  great  extent.  The  upper  classes  shave 
their  heads  in  front  and  grow  pigtails  behind  ;  the  lower 
classes  do  not  shave  their  heads,  and  twist  their  pigtails 
round  their  hair.  The  men  wear  long  blue  coats  of  cotton, 
loose  linen  trousers  fastened  at  the  knee  or  made  into  leggings, 
Chinese  shoes  or  boots  made  of  skin.  They  have  a  kaftan 
of  fish-skin  or  other  skin,  and  a  belt  to  which  is  attached 
a  case  that  contains  their  most  requisite  accessories  (knife, 
chopsticks,  tinder,  small  copper  pipe,  and  tobacco).  The 
women  dress  in  blue  cotton  gowns  with  short  loose  sleeves, 
above  which  they  wear  a  cape  or  mantle  of  silk  reaching 
to  the  waist ;  they  carry  their  youngest  children  on  their 
backs.  They  are  primarily  a  people  of  huntsmen,  but  fish 
also  :  during  the  winter  they  secure  fish  on  the  Amur  by 
'  malleting '  :  the  fish  are  visible  through  the  ice  and  are 
stunned  by  a  blow  at  the  top  ;  a  hole  is  then  made  in  the  ice 
and  they  are  secured.  Their  houses  are  set  in  square  yards 
with  a  fence  of  stakes  or  wicker-work  about  them  ;  they  have 
a  framework  of  wood  covered  with  mud,  the  roof  is  covered 
with  sedge  or  grass.  Usually  the  interior  is  not  divided  ; 
when  it  is,  the  entrance-room,  where  the  children  and  domestic 
animals  are  congregated,  is  used  as  the  kitchen.  During  the 
summer  they  have  windows  made  of  paper  soaked  in  oil, 


during  the  winter  they  cover  their  windows  with  matting. 
Outside  many  of  the  houses  are  shrines  containing  idols  with 
basins  of  incense  set  before  them  ;  another  religious  decora- 
tion is  the  long  pole  with  votive  skulls  adorning  it. 

H. — Solons 
The  Solons  (shooters)  are  a  tribe  which  are  important  in 
north  Manchuria,  but  a  mere  handful  of  them  live  across 
the  Amur.  They  are  nomadic,  and  even  their  women  hunt 
on  horseback  ;  they  have  horses,  dogs  (used  for  hunting), 
sheep,  oxen,  and  camels.  Both  they  and  the  Daurians  have 
large  Mongol  and  even  Chinese  admixture. 

I. — Manchu 
The  Manchu  are  the  aristocracy  of  these  tribes  ;  they  have 
a  proud  history  and  have  given  a  dynasty  to  China.  Their 
real  home  is  up  the  valley  of  the  Kirin,  a  tributary  of  the 
Sungari.  They  have  more  marked  features  than  any  of 
their  neighbours,  thicker,  more  arched  noses,  less  thin  lips, 
bigger  mouths,  taller  stature.  They  are  found  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Blagovyeshchensk,  but  there  are  very  few 
beyond  the  Amur  (the  number  of  the  whole  tribe  is  3,340). 
They  are  fishermen,  and  have  boats  either  made  of  the  trunk 
of  a  hollowed  tree,  or  flat-bottomed  made  of  planks. 

J. — Oroche 
The  Oroche  live  along  the  coast  of  the  Ussuri  region  from 
de  Castries  Bay  to  about  lat.  44°  N.  Their  speech  resembles 
that  of  the  Goldi,  but  we  have  little  information  about  it ; 
the  resemblances  are  more  in  vocabulary  than  in  pronuncia- 
tion. They  have  had  their  physical  type  modified  by  inter- 
course with  the  Gilyaks  in  the  north  and  with  the  Chinese 
in  the  south  :  the  latter  have  had  a  demoralizing  effect  upon 
them  ;  they  have  settled  among  them,  sometimes  for  agricul- 
ture on  a  small  scale,  sometimes  for  fishing,  gold- washing, 
and  so  on.     The  South  Oroche  (Tazi)  have  been  especially 


affected  by  this  intercourse.  The  Oroche  are  said  to  have 
a  repulsive  physiognomy.  They  are  very  short ;  their  heads 
are  proportionately  big,  their  extremities  small ;  their 
complexion  is  less  dark  than  that  of  the  Ainu  and  the  hair 
less  thick,  the  beard  being  almost  nil.  Their  hair  is  black 
or  brown,  their  eyebrows  are  strongly  marked  ;  their  faces 
are  flat  and  almost  square  ;  the  forehead  is  low,  round  and 
somewhat  receding,  the  cheekbones  prominent,  the  eyes  small 
and  slanting,  the  nose  small  and  snub,  the  mouth  big,  the 
lips  thin.  The  population  is  2,407,  of  whom  1,329  are  males. 
Despite  their  name  signifying  '  reindeer-keepers  '  they  are 
now  a  fisher-folk. 

K. — Goldi 

Territory,  divisions. — The  Goldi  live  along  the  Amur  and 
its  tributaries  the  Ussuri  and  the  Sungari.  There  are  three 
divisions  of  them,  differentiated  more  by  the  dialect  that 
they  use  than  by  any  other  peculiarity:  (1)  from  the  mouth 
of  the  Gorin  where  they  are  conterminous  with  the  Olcha  to 
the  Gion  Mountain,  (2)  from  the  Gion  Mountain  to  the  mouth 
of  the  Ussuri  and  up  that  river  ;  (3)  from  the  mouth  of  the 
Ussuri  up  the  Amur  and  Sungari.  This  last  group  is  called 
Kilens  :  the  name  Khodz  is  given  to  those  Goldi  who  live 
below  Khabarovsk. 

Intercourse  with  Chinese.  Physical  appearance. — The  Goldi 
have  acted  as  transmitters  of  culture  :  they  have  absorbed 
much  that  China  had  to  teach  them  and  have  in  turn  greatly 
affected  the  tribes  beyond  them,  especially  the  Gilyak,  who 
owe  to  them  many  features  in  their  art,  customs,  and  ideas. 
Their  physical  type  has  been  modified  by  this  intercourse 
also,  and  some  of  them  present  certain  differences  in  appear- 
ance from  the  northern  Tungus.  The  face  is  round  or  oval 
with  the  well-known  '  Mongol '  characteristics  :  broad  cheek- 
bones, oblique  small  eyes,  broad,  thin,  low  nose.  But  the 
other  type  is  found  not  less  frequently  :  there  is  a  certain 
breadth  in  the  cheeks,  the  eyes  are  less  oblique,  the  nose  is 
higher  and  more  arched,  the  lips  are  thicker.  Both  types 
have  black  hair  and  eyes  (occasionally  grey),  and  have  bony 

GOLDI  185 

and  muscular  frames.  Their  beard  and  moustache  are  poor. 
They  have  one  form  of  tattoo  which  is  used  by  both  sexes, 
viz.  four  spots  on  the  forehead  arranged  as  a  cross.  In 
character  they  have  been  described  as  timid,  good-natured, 
and  honest. 

Numbers. — They  number  5,016,  of  whom  2,640  are  males. 

Occupations,  dwellings,  clothing. — It  is  difficult  to  describe 
with  great  accuracy  their  ideas  and  way  of  life,  because  the 
travellers  to  whom  most  of  our  detailed  information  is  due 
have  not  been  careful  to  distinguish  them  from  their  neigh- 
bours. Their  chief  employment  is  fishing,  for  which  purpose 
they  use  small  birch-bark  canoes  for  one  man,  and  also 
larger  boats  of  three  principal  planks,  mostly  of  cedar-wood, 
fastened  by  wooden  pegs  and  caulked  with  willow-bark, 
of  about  the  length  of  15  ft.,  adapted  for  crossing  shallows 
and  capable  of  carrying  sails.  They  are  expert  oarsmen  and 
are  serviceable  to  the  Russians  in  that  capacity.  They 
employ  dogs  to  tow  their  boats  upstream.  They  have  an 
ingenious  method  of  recovering  the  harpoon  after  they  have 
thrown  it ;  there  is  a  fish -bladder  attached  by  a  line  35  ft. 
long  and  that,  as  it  floats,  indicates  where  it  is.  One  method 
of  securing  fish  when  they  descend  the  Amur  is  to  fix  firmly 
to  the  bed  of  the  stream  a  row  of  tressels  connected  by  cross- 
beams, and  the  interstices  filled  by  wickerwork  of  willows  : 
in  a  gap  in  the  latter  the  Goldi  put  their  fishing-nets  and 
secure  large  catches.  When  they  have  dried  their  fish  they 
sometimes  protect  them  against  the  assault  of  birds  by 
chaining  an  eagle  in  the  vicinity.  They  do  a  certain  amount 
of  hunting,  but  have  settled  habitations,  and  are  not  nomads, 
though  they  may  be  absent  from  home  for  a  long  period. 
They  are  also  good  smiths  and  make  beautiful  ornamental 
spear-heads.  Agriculture  is  confined  to  the  cultivation  of 
small  plots  of  land  in  which  they  grow  vegetables  and  tobacco 
surrounding  their  dwellings.  These  latter  are  on  the  lines 
of  Chinese  houses  ;  they  are  built  of  poles  with  beaten  clay 
between,  or  a  mixture  of  clay  and  straw.  The  floor  is  covered 
with  clay,  and  has  a  hole  with  charcoal  in  it,  kept  burning 


Rummer  and  winter,  for  the  purpose  of  lighting  pipes.  These 
houses  are  about  30  or  40  ft.  square,  and  will  accommodate 
sometimes  30  or  40  people.  Their  costume  varies,  and  they 
are  most  receptive  of  alien  fashions.  The  same  man  will 
wear  at  different  times  a  Russian  overcoat,  a  Chinese  dress 
or  a  fish-skin  suit.  The  women  are  highly  skilful  in  needle- 
work and  embroidery,  and  tastefully  adorn  their  skirts  and 

Customs. — In  a  population  where  men  are  in  a  majority 
there  is  naturally  no  polygamy.  They  are  Shamanists  in 
religion,  and  bury  their  shamans  and  other  great  ones  in  huts  ; 
the  bodies  of  the  poor  are  bestowed  in  coffins  placed  in  trees 
out  of  the  reach  of  wild  beasts.  Their  favourite  amusement 
is  wrestling,  and  the  singing  of  improvised  songs. 



Elements  of  Immigrant  Population — Distribution  and  Number  of  Colonists 
— The  Present  System  of  Colonization — The  Exile  System — Colonization  of 
the  various  Provinces — Distribution  of  Russian  Population — The  Yellow 
Question  and  Colonization — Encouragement  of  Colonization  in  Arctic 

Elements  of  Immigrant  Population 

Early  Colonization  :  Cossacks 

The  colonization  of  Siberia  has  been  a  long  process,  at 
first  gradual,  and  recently  very  rapid,  that  has  extended  over 
more  than  three  hundred  years.  The  conquests  of  Yermak 
in  the  reign  of  Ivan  the  Terrible  were  soon  followed  by  the 
arrival  of  the  first  colonists.  It  was  in  1593  that  the  first 
settlers  arrived  :  they  came  from  the  town  of  Uglich,  and 
had  been  too  zealous  in  making  known  the  plot  against  the 
Tsarevich  Dmitri.  But  the  earliest  settlers  were  not  as  a  rule 
exiles,  but  either  traders  attracted  by  the  fur  trade,  or 
Cossacks  whose  settlements  were  extended  across  the  continent 
to  protect  the  new  settlers.  In  1637,  Yakutsk  was  founded, 
and  about  the  middle  of  the  century  Khabarov  occupied  the 
banks  of  the  Amur  (see  Chap.  XVIII).  In  the  eighteenth 
centurj^  when  the  borders  of  Asiatic  Russia  had  become  res- 
tricted, Transbaikal  was  largely  occupied  by  Cossacks  from  the 
Don,  and  their  descendants  have  constituted  a  hereditary 
military  caste  and  have  formed  the  nucleus  of  future  military 
colonies  in  the  Far  East.  The  Cossacks  have  had  special 
privileges  as  settlers  :  in  central  Siberia  they  are  granted 
60  acres  of  land  per  man.  But  it  is  difficult  for  them  to  combine 
their  functions  of  settlers  and  soldiers,  and  the  individual 
Cossack  is  usually  so  much  a  worse  colonist  as  he  has  discharged 


his  military  duties  effectively.    (For  the  origin  of  the  Cossacks 
see  p.  357.) 

In  the  eighteenth  century  a  line  of  forts  was  constructed 
along  the  River  Irtish,  from  Omsk  in  a  south-easterly  direction 
as  a  protection  against  the  wild  tribes  of  the  Kirghiz  steppes  : 
the  military  occupation  of  this  district  preceded  the  advent  of 
civilian  settlers,  which  was  not  really  developed  till  near  the 
end  of  the  nineteenth  century. 


But  another  and  very  different  source  of  immigrants  soon 
began  to  be  drawn  upon.  The  first  recorded  mention  of 
exile  to  Siberia  in  any  Russian  legislation  is  in  a  law  of  the 
Tsar  Alexis  Mikhailovich  in  1648.  Exile  was  largely  used 
at  first  as  a  means  of  getting  rid  of  disabled  criminals,  men  on 
whom  some  savage  sentence  of  mutilation  had  been  carried 
out,  and,  as  was  natural  to  expect,  such  men  were  useless  as 
colonists.  Then  at  the  close  of  the  seventeenth  century  it 
was  regarded  as  desirable  to  send  exiles  to  populate  new  terri- 
tory :  an  extensive  criminal  code  supplied  large  contingents 
when  exile  was  the  recognized  penalty  for  such  different 
offences  as  fortune-telling,  snuff-taking,  driving  with  rein? 
and  setting  fire  to  property  accidentally.  The  discovery  of 
mineral  wealth  added  a  fresh  incentive  :  rich  mines  were 
found  at  Yekaterinburg,  and  this  together  with  the  establish- 
ment of  manufactories  in  Irkutsk  led  to  a  large  demand 
for  labour,  which  was  met  by  extensions  of  the  punishment 
of  exile  to  fresh  crimes.  In  the  year  1753  capital  punishment 
was  abolished  in  Russia,  and  its  place  was  taken  by  perpetual 
banishment  to  Siberia  with  hard  labour. 

The  exiles  dispatched  to  Siberia  fell  under  three  designa- 
tions :  they  were  either  criminal,  political,  or  religious.  In 
1900  exile  to  Siberia  was  abolished,  though  in  1904  it  was 
restored  for  political  offences  and  the  number  of  political  exiles 
was  greatly  swelled  by  the  revolutionary  outbreaks  of  the 
period  of  '  Vladimir's  day  '.  In  1906  45,000  political  exiles 
entered  Siberia.     For  a  long  time  the  exiles  (kolodniks)  were 


driven  in  herds  from  one  village  to  another  without  any  proper 
arrangements  being  made  for  them,  and  they  were  often  starved 
on  the  way.  At  the  beginning  of  the  nineteenth  century 
more  satisfactory  arrangements  were  made  :  in  1811  a  suitable 
force  of  regular  guards  was  organized  to  convoy  parties  of 
exiles,  and  all  exiles  were  furnished  with  identifying  documents 
(stateini  spiski)  to  show  who  they  were  and  whither  they 

(were  bound.  In  1817  etapes  (ostrogs)  were  established  along 
the  main  roads ;  they  stand  now  easily  identified  in  the  villages 
in  western  Siberia,  often,  it  is  said,  the  most  cheerful -looking 
building  in  the  community.  In  eastern  Siberia  they  are 
usually  outside.  In  1823  a  bureau  of  exile-administration 
was  established  in  Tobolsk,  which  has  since  been  removed 
to  Tyumen,  and  through  that  has  passed  the  endless  procession 
of  exiles,  political  and  criminal.  No  record  of  them  was  kept 
until  1823  :  since  that  date  to  1898  there  have  passed  by 
700,000  exiles  ;  and  with  them  216,000  voluntary  followers 
(dobrovolni) .  The  criminal  prisoners  fall  under  two  heads  : 
(1)  Jcatorgeni  rabotniki  (criminal  convicts),  who  are  sentenced 
to  hard  labour  ;  (2)  poselentsi,  who  are  condemned  to  shorter 
periods  of  imprisonment.  During  this  same  period  187,000 
criminal  exiles  with  107,000  companions  have  entered  Siberia. 
Since  1870  the  government  has  done  its  best  to  keep  apart 
the  criminal  from  the  peaceful  colonists.  From  that  date  the 
convicts  were  confined  more  and  more  to  the  Lena  territory 
and  parts  of  the  Far  East,  while  until  recently  the  northern 
part  of  the  island  of  Sakhalin  retained  by  Russia  has  been 
almost  exclusively  a  penal  colony.  The  political  exiles  have 
been  mainly  in  west  and  central  Siberia.  A  great  terror  to 
life  has  been  added  by  the  escaped  convicts  (brodyagi)  in 
various  parts  of  Siberia.  Escape  is  easy;  one  writer  in 
1902  says  that  one-third  of  the  transported  escape  all  control 
and  wander,  rob,  and  terrorize.  On  the  other  hand  the  political 
exile  who  settles  in  the  country  often  adds  the  most  enlightened 
element  of  the  populace  to  the  community  :  such  men  settle 
in  the  towns  ;  they  open  shops  and  enter  into  the  social  life, 
being  readily  trusted  and  hospitably  treated  by.  the  inhabi- 


tants,  and  they  found  a  progressive  public  opinion.  They 
have  been  among  the  best  sections  of  the  community,  and  have 
added  much  to  the  development  of  the  country  :  some  of  them 
have  been  among  the  most  enterprising  of  its  explorers  :  e.  g. 
Bogoras,  whose  work  on  the  inhabitants  of  the  Chukchee 
Peninsula  is  the  most  important  contribution  to  our  knowledge 
of  that  district.  Some  political  exiles  have  become  the  trusted 
agents  of  the  government  in  the  districts  to  which  they  have 
been  sent. 

The  exiles  who  were  sent  for  religious  reasons  need  a  special 
word.  The  great  occasion  for  their  banishment  arose  from  the 
opposition  to  the  reforms  of  Nikon  in  ecclesiastical  matters, 
and  afterwards  to  those  of  Peter  the  Great  in  social  and 
political  affairs.  Nikon  in  the  middle  of  the  seventeenth 
century  had  tried  to  make  the  ritual  of  the  Russian  Church 
conform  more  exactly  in  certain  small  matters  with  that  of 
other  branches  of  the  Eastern  Church,  removing  certain 
errors  from  the  liturgical  books.  To  a  conservative  opposition 
this  was  apostasy,  and  when  Peter  came,  Nikon  was  Antichrist. 
So  there  arose  great  numbers  of  dissenters  {raskolniki)  : 
their  first  great  division  was  into  Popovists  or  supporters  of 
the  priesthood,  and  Bezpopovists  who  felt  that  the  priesthood 
was  hopelessly  vicious,  as  the  Church  had  become  apostate. 
Both  parties  believed  in  Apostolic  Succession,  and  the  Popo- 
vists had  carried  with  them  in  their  secession  a  bishop  through 
whom  the  succession  from  the  apostles  might  be  transmitted  ; 
but  he  died  before  he  could  consecrate  a  successor.  There 
was  even  some  talk  of  cutting  off  his  hands  that  their  '  laying 
on '  might  convey  the  gifts  of  the  Spirit,  but,  as  the  words 
of  consecration  could  not  be  said,  the  idea  was  abandoned. 
They  had  therefore  to  depend  upon  runaway  priests.  The 
Bezpopovists  resorted  to  other  and  more  direct  methods 
of  a  continuance  of  spiritual  grace  :  e.  g.  they  would  stand 
looking  upwards  with  their  mouths  wide  open,  that  spiritual 
blessings  might  reach  them  from  heaven  by  that  means. 
These  raskolniki  are  ascetic,  industrious,  and  abstemious, 
abstaining  entirely  from  alcohol  and  tobacco.    They  are  the 


predominant  element  among  the  settlers  of  Transbaikal,  at 
any  rate  among  those  who  have  been  settled  for  any  appreci- 
able period  upon  the  land  :  the  Don  Cossacks  are  nearly  all 
raskolniki.  They  are  not  a  learned  folk,  but  at  the  same 
time  they  encourage  elementary  education  sufficient  for 
reading  the  Bible. 

There  are  other  sects,  some  of  which  indulge  in  extrava- 
gances that  contravene  all  morality.  Among  the  more 
peculiar  sects  are  the  Skoptsi,  found  chiefly  in  settlements 
round  Yakutsk. 

In  dealing  with  religious  dissent  periods  of  persecution  and 
toleration  have  alternated,  but  the  raskolniki  now  constitute 
as  much  as  10  per  cent,  of  the  population  of  the  whole  Russian 

Enforced  Settlement  on  lines  of  Communication 

Besides  the  actual  exiles  another  class  of  settlers  should  be 

mentioned,  viz.  those  peasants  who  have  been  bound  to  settle 

at  appointed  places  in  order  to  maintain  communications 

along  the  roads,   and  the  yamshchiks   who   drive   travellers 

.  along  the  various  sections  of  the  post-roads. 

Free  settlers 

The  last  element  in  the  immigrant  population  of  Siberia 
and  much  the  most  important  is  that  of  the  free  settlers, 
whether  helped  by  the  government  or  not.  Voluntary  immi- 
grants (samovolni)  settled  of  their  own  accord  in  the  remotest 
parts  of  Siberia,  and  founded  communal  colonies  as  in  Euro- 
pean Russia.  Being  quite  cut  off  from  their  kindred  by 
reason  of  the  immense  distance,  they  intermarried  with  the 
Cossacks  or  with  the  natives.  Where  the  Russian  element  has 
not  been  very  strong  they  have  even  adopted  the  language 
of  the  natives  among  whom  they  dwell.  Thus  the  Russians 
who  live  among  the  Buryats  and  Yakuts  have  often  adopted 
their  language.  The  descendants  of  these  settlers  are  the 
Siberiaks  who  have  lost  their  national  sentiment  while  retaining 
many  of  the  habits  and  customs  of  Russians.    This  resulting 



race  is  shorter  and  of  darker  complexion,  of  lower  morals 
but  stronger  independence.  During  the  eighteenth  century 
and  for  a  considerable  portion  of  the  nineteenth  the  Russian 
government  did  what  it  could  to  discourage  the  samovolni. 

But  of  recent  years  the  warmest  encouragement  has  been 
given  to  free  settlers  in  Siberia  by  the  Russian  government. 
This  was  made  possible  by  the  abolition  of  serfdom  in  1861  ; 
riot  till  then  could  the  Russian  peasant  leave  his  native  soil. 
For  the  first  300  years  of  Russian  occupation  something  like 
3,000,000  persons  immigrated  from  European  to  Asiatic 
Russia.  But  there  was  a  marked  increase  in  the  number  of 
immigrants  in  1896,  and  since  the  Russo-Japanese  War  more 
have  arrived  than  the  numbers  during  the  three  previous 
centuries.  In  1914  the  sum  of  £3,000,000  a  year  was  voted  for 
the  development  of  colonization  in  Siberia,  whereas  previous 
to  1896  only  £100,000  had  been  voted  and  in  1906  £500,000. 
Between  1909  and  1913  the  area  of  new  land' surveyed  and 
parcelled  out  for  colonization  was  18,000,000  desyatins  (i.  e. 
75,850  square  miles),  and  350,000  families  were  settled.  To 
this  have  to  be  added  6,000,000  desyatins  (25,000  square  miles) 
of  land  belonging  to  old  mirs  (village  communities)  brought 
under  cultivation  during  those  same  years. 

Distribution  and  Number  of  Colonists 

Colonization  has  been  mainly  directed  to  the  black  earth 
zone,  through  which  run  the  Trans-Siberian  Railway  and  the 
great  Siberian  road.  It  extends  from  about  lat.  58°  30'  N.  to 
55°  N.,  though  in  the  Altai  district  the  region  of  colonization 
comes  as  far  south  as  lat.  51°  N.,  where  there  has  been  a  great 
inrush  of  colonists  since  the  '  Cabinet '  estates  of  about 
200,000  square  miles  were  thrown  open  for  general  colonization 
in  1906;  between  1896  and  1909  one-third  of  the  3,000,000 
immigrants  to  Asiatic  Russia  went  to  the  Altai  district.  In 
the  same  period  about  900,000  went  to  the  Steppe  region, 
about  258,000  to  the  Tobolsk  region,  and  about  300,000  to  the 
east  of  Lake  Baikal.     The  Tomsk  Government  (outside  the 


Altai)  attracted  nearly  500,000  and  the  Yeniseisk  Government 
nearly  400,000.     Only  18,000  went  to  Turkestan. 

The  growth  of  colonization  can  be  shown  by  the  following 
figures.  From  1870  to  1890,  500,000  settlers  entered  Siberia  ; 
from  1896  to  1905,  1,078,000.  The  years  that  followed  the 
Russo-Japanese  War  have  shown  even  greater  numbers  of 
colonists,  as  the  following  table  shows  : — 

^Year.  Settlers  entering  Asiatic  Russia 















During  the  five  years  between  1909  and  1913,  75,850  square 
miles  were  parcelled  out  for  colonization  and  settled  by  a  new 
population  of  about  1,500,000.  During  this  period  also  about 
6,300  miles  of  road  were  constructed.  The  decrease  in  the 
number  of  emigrants  in  1910  was  attributed  to  the  first  of 
a  succession  of  good  harvests  in  southern  Russia. 

There  is  a  marked  decline  in  the  number  of  emigrants  who 
return  each  year  to  Russia.  Excluding  khodoki  (see  below) 
and  migratory  labourers,  the  percentage  of  returning  colonists 
has  fallen  to  about  4  per  cent,  a  year.  This  applies  to  all 
the  districts  except  the  provinces  of  Yeniseisk  and  Irkutsk, 
and  in  those  two  colonies  special  climatic  conditions  had 
reduced  many  colonists  to  destitution. 

The  Present  System  of  Colonization 
Selection  and  tenure  of  land 

The  colonization  of  Asiatic  lands  is  directed  by  the 
Ministry  of  Agriculture.  Every  effort  is  made  to  secure 
that  immigration  shall  be  popular,  and  to  encourage  the 
development  of  the  remoter  parts.    By  now  the  more  attrac- 


tive  parts  for  settlement  are  practically  all  occupied,  including 
the  districts  through  which  the  railway  runs  and  the  imperial 
lands  in  the  Altai  district,  but  settlers  can  obtain  loans  from 
the  State  if  their  land  is  in  the  taiga  where  much  clearing 
has  to  be  done,  or  in  the  steppes  where  deep  wells  have  to  be 
dug,  or  in  the  far  east  on  account  of  its  great  distance.  The 
loan  for  difficult  regions  or  lands  in  the  far  east  may  be  400 
roubles,  and  in  Transbaikal  250-400  roubles.  These  loans 
are  on  easy  terms  :  nothing  at  all  is  paid  for  the  first  three 
years,  and  after  that  the  debt  is  paid  off  in  instalments  for 
the  next  10  years.  Sometimes  the  second  half  of  the  loan 
is  remitted  altogether.  One  condition,  however,  is  always 
enforced,  and  that  is  that  a  khodok  goes  out  in  advance  to  view 
the  land.  A  khodok  is  a  man  who  is  sent  out  to  see  whether 
the  land  is  suitable  for  colonization.  One  khodok  may  re- 
present several  families,  but  not  more  than  five.  He  usually 
goes  a  year  before  the  intending  settler,  and  after  selecting 
the  land  returns  to  Russia.  He  must  travel  with  a  certificate, 
which  is  given  gratuitously.  From  April  to  June  is  the  best 
season  for  judging  the  land,  but  the  settlers  themselves  go 
out  before  the  winter  is  over  for  fear  of  losing  their  chance  of 
securing  the  land  that  they  wish  :  sometimes  they  commence 
their  occupation  before  the  snow  is  gone,  which  precipitancy 
may  lead  to  very  disappointing  results  for  them.  Khodoki 
are  not  included  in  the  table  given  above. 

Privileges  of  emigrants 

Other  privileges  are  conferred  on  settlers.  For  the  first 
five  years  they  are  exempted  from  taxation,  and  for  the  next 
five  years  they  only  pay  a  half.  Settlers  above  the  age  of 
eighteen  have  their  military  service  postponed  for  three  years. 
In  the  eastern  parts  of  the  Amur  General  Government  and 
in  Turkestan  settlers  over  fifteen  have  six  years'  postponement 
of  service.  Such  Russian  colonists  as  inhabit  the  lower  valleys 
of  the  Lena  and  Yenisei  are  altogether  exempted  from  military 
service  as  an  inducement  to  continue  their  struggle  against  the 
forces  of  nature,    Should  the  elder  son  die  while  the  younger 



is  in  the  ranks,  the  latter  is  immediately  given  his  discharge 
and  goes  back  to  the  farm.  Further,  the  government  has 
started  depots  for  agricultural  machinery  of  modern  type.  In 
1909  there  were  64  of  these  depots,  in  1913  there  were  300. 
In  1898  the  value  of  the  agricultural  machinery  imported  into 
Siberia  was  211,900  roubles  ;  in  1913  it  was  8,400,000. 

Again,  in  his  first  year  the  new  colonist  is  supplied  by  the 
vernment  with  enough  seed-corn  to  enable  him  to  sow  three 
syatins  of  land.  Along  the  routes  there  are  hospitals  for 
e  immigrants,  who  travel  in  fourth-class  carriages  (those 
carriages  marked  as  accommodating  40  men  or  8  horses) 
at  a  cost  of  3  roubles  for  1,000  versts,  which  means  less  than 
Is.  for  100  miles.  Children  under  10  are  carried  free.  Baggage, 
horses  and  cattle  are  taken  at  very  low  rates.  There  are 
thirty  stations  arranged  for  the  distribution  of  land,  the  largest 
of  which  is  at  Chelyabinsk. 

At  Chelyabinsk,  Kansk,  and  Stryetensk  a  large  number  of 
houses  have  been  erected  for  the  temporary  accommodation 
of  the  immigrants.  Along  the  lines  are  stations  where  free 
medical  aid  is  given.  Hot  food  is  served  out  free  of  charge 
to  children  under  10  and  sick  people.  Those  who  fall  victims 
to  infectious  diseases  are  given  free  treatment  in  government 

Ninety-six  per  cent,  of  the  land  in  Siberia  belongs  to  the 
State  :  only  in  the  Amur  territory  is  it  ever  purchased.  The 
usual  amount  allotted  is  now  from  8  to  15  desyatins  to  each 
male  member  of  a  family.  The  Cossacks  have  had  land 
allotted  to  them  on  a  more  liberal  scale,  each  male  having  been 
given  in  central  Siberia  60  acres,  in  the  Amur  General  Govern- 
ment 100.  New  land  for  '  freehold '  farms  is  allotted  in 
parcels  of  25-50  desyatins  of  arable  land  to  each  family 
irrespective  of  the  number  of  males.  An  immigrant  from 
Russia  gets  on  an  average  a  farm  nine  times  as  large  as  that 
which  he  had  in  Europe.  The  land  is  conveyed  to  the  settlers 
by  letters  of  allotment  :  it  continues  to  be  state-property, 
but  for  the  perpetual  benefit  of  the  settler,  who  has  no  right 
to  sell  or  mortgage  it. 


All  the  land  set  aj)art  for  communes  of  immigrants  is  now 
carefully  surveyed,  parcelled  out  and  assessed  for  loans  and 

Conditions  of  colonization  and  sources  of  emigration 

The  great  incentive  to  colonization  from  Russia  is  that 
the  peasants  in  Europe  occupy  plots  which  only  require  work 
for  from  60  to  75  days  in  the  year,  and  cannot  find  work  in  the 
neighbourhood.  In  Asia  they  are  assigned  allotments  large 
enough  to  give  them  work  for  the  whole  year.  They  come 
mainly  from  the  northern  part  of  the  black  earth  zone  in 
middle  Russia,  and  to  a  less  extent  from  Lithuania  and  the 
Governments  of  Perm  and  Vyatka.  They  are  apt  to  retain 
the  local  characteristics  of  their  old  home  ;  thus  the  settlers 
from  the  Government  of  Poltava  tend  to  dislike  innovations, 
and  those  from  the  Government  of  Mogilev  do  not  generally 
bear  a  good  name  as  efficient  colonists.  Every  year  the 
Russian  government  points  out  what  tracts  of  country  are 
open  to  colonization,  where  villages  may  be  built,  what 
improvements  have  been  made  in  irrigation.  The  colonial 
villages  are  definitely  planned  and  scheduled  before  they 
contain  a  single  inhabitant. 

The  sites  of  villages  are  often  determined  by  strategical 
considerations,  the  military  authorities  requiring  a  certain 
number  along  the  line  of  this  or  that  hill  or  valley.  The  class 
of  Russians  who  are  allowed  to  settle  in  Asia  is  determined 
by  the  government.  Thus  in  1914  the  government  declared 
that  the  following  might  settle  beyond  the  Ural :  '  all  peasants 
and  those  engaged  exclusively  in  agriculture,  and  also  artisans, 
workmen,  factory-hands,  merchants  and  shopkeepers.  People 
of  other  classes  must,  before  emigrating,  apply  to  the  governor 
of  the  province  in  which  they  live.'  It  further  publishes 
a  summary  of  information  showing  intending  colonists  exactly 
what  their  status  and  privileges  will  be.  Those  who  belong 
to  forms  of  religion  that  discountenance  military  service  are 
not  allowed  to  settle  in  certain  provinces  (e.  g.  Semiryechensk). 


The  Exile  System 
Improvement  in  Condition  of  Exiles 
To  the  outer  world  Siberia  has  been  more  associated  with 
the  exile  system  than  with  any  other  fact,  and  novelists, 
journalists,  and  travellers  have  made  its  features  familiar ; 
but  the  long  march  of  many  months  along  the  roads  has  given 
place  to  the  more  rapid  transit  by  the  arestantski  wagons  on 
the  railway,  and  the  abolition  of  exile  for  ordinary  criminals 
has  completely  transformed  its  associations.  For  some  years 
there  have  been  no  processions  of  convicts,  the  katorgeni 
shaved  on  the  right  side  of  their  head,  the  poselentsi  shaved 
on  the  left,  nor  daily  tramps  of  20  miles  from  etape  to  etape, 
with  military  guards  relieving  each  other  at  the  intermediate 
stages  (poletape). 

Relations  of  Exile  with  Colonization 
The  effect  of  the  exile  system  on  colonization  has  been  bad. 
For  a  long  time  the  exiles  were  not  sent  to  unoccupied  land, 
when  their  period  of  detention  was  over,  but  were  attached 
to  existing  settlements,  though  not  exceeding  a  proportion  of 
one-fifth  of  the  older  inhabitants.  After  that  an  effort  was 
made  to  detach  the  actual  convicts  :  they  were  sent  farther 
away,  while  the  political  exile,  who  had  usually  not  been 
banished  to  so  remote  a  region,  took  part  in  the  urban  life. 
The  political  exiles  are  of  two  kinds,  those  who  have  been 
sentenced  after  a  legal  trial,  and  those  who  have  been  banished 
by  the  more  arbitrary  system  of  administrative  order  from 
the  Minister  of  the  Interior.  These  two  classes  of  prisoners 
are  divided  into  those  with  rights  and  those  without.  The 
former  can  occupy  land  and  earn  wages  ;  the  latter  are  re- 
stricted to  a  certain  number  of  small  trades  and  their  annual 
turnover  is  limited.  They  are  employed  generally  on  wharfs, 
railways,  &c,  and  in  remote  districts  on  post-roads  at  the 
current  rate  of  wages.  A  certain  amount  of  convict-labour 
was  also  employed  on  railways,  with  some  success  in 
central  Siberia,  but  without  success  on  the  Ussuri  Railway. 


Eight  months  of  work  on  the  railway  were  allowed  to  count 
as  a  year  of  imprisonment.  Gangs  of  escaped  convicts 
{brodyagi)  have  always  been  a  terror  to  remote  regions. 
These  brodyagi  find  it  easy  to  get  away,  and  the  inhabitants 
leave  out  food  for  them,  not  so  much  from  charity  as  from 
policy,  that  they  may  be  discouraged  from  taking  it  forcibly. 
If  any  of  the  brodyagi  are  found  dead  with  wounds  in  front 
no  particular  questions  are  likely  to  be  asked  about  their 
death,  as  it  will  be  assumed  that  they  have  been  killed  by 
somebody  in  self-defence.  It  is  only  when  they  are  found 
dead  with  their  wounds  behind  that  investigation  is  made. 

The  scattering  of  the  prisoners  through  Siberia  was  less 
a  wrong  to  them  than  to  the  country.  Their  actual  treatment 
seems  to  have  compared  favourably  with  the  treatment  of 
criminals  in  most  countries  ;  but  the  permanent  element  that 
survived  in  the  country,  apart  from  the  political  prisoners, 
did  not  make  for  its  welfare .  For  every  fifty-seven  inhabitants 
Siberia  has  received  one  criminal  or  jjolitical  prisonei,  and  in 
1898  (two  years  before  the  abolition  of  the  penalty  of  exile)  the 
number  of  transported  persons  was  298,574.  It  must  be 
remembered  also  that  a  large  proportion  of  the  exiles  (from 
1867  to  1876,  more  than  50  per  cent.)  had  been  banished 
because  they  had  been  found  refractory  or  otherwise  undesir- 
able by  their  mirs  at  home,  so  that  the  land  was  being  filled  by 
drafts  of  those  who  would  presumably  make  the  worst  settlers. 
Transportation  again  does  not  contribute  to  colonization 
owing  to  the  large  proportion  of  unmarried  persons.  But, 
worst  of  all,  the  country  had  a  bad  name,  and  the  development 
of  its  great  resources  was  thwarted  by  its  penal  associations 
which  acted  as  a  deterrent  to  those  who  would  have  made  its 
best  colonists. 

Colonization  of  the  various  Provinces 

Tobolsk. — This  was  the  province  in  which  colonization  was 

first  encouraged,  when  colonists  were  settled  along  the  banks 

of  the  Rivers  Tura,  Tavda,  Tobol,  and  Ob.    It  is  the  province, 

too,  in  which  are  the  largest  number  of  political  exiles.     In 




1910  a  writer  speaks  of  them  as  numbering  40,000.  Among 
these  are  a  very  large  contingent  of  Poles,  many  of  them  the 
descendants  of  former  exiles  :  there  were  many  Poles  banished 
in  1758,  1831,  and  1863.  For  a  long  time  Tyumen  was  the 
great  centre  of  organization  of  settlers  on  the  land.  Now 
these  functions  are  mainly  performed  at  Chelyabinsk  ;  there 
the  settlers  are  arranged  into  parties  and  sent  under  super- 
tendence  to  the  district  which  they  are  to  colonize.  They 
ve  to  wait  for  formal  permission  to  settle,  but  this  precau- 
ion  is  merely  taken  in  order  to  prevent  debtors  from  abscond- 
ing. In  May  1896,  when  the  great  rush  of  immigrants  to 
Siberia  began,  there  would  be  as  many  colonists  on  a  par- 
ticular day  passing  through  Chelyabinsk  as  the  whole  popula- 
tion of  the  town  (viz.  17,000) .  Since  the  opening  of  the  steppes 
the  rush  for  Tobolsk  has  considerably  diminished,  but  the 
population  is  still  decidedly  increasing.  In  1858  it  was 
1,021,266  ;  in  1897  it  was  1,438,484  ;  in  1911  it  was  estimated 
at  about  1,975,239.  Ninety-three  per  cent,  of  the  population 
is  Russian  :  the  rest  of  the  population  includes  about  40,000 
Tartars,  Bokharians,  and  Kirghiz,  20,000  Ostyaks,  and  15,000 
Samoyedes  and  Voguls.  The  bulk  of  the  population  is  in  the 
south  of  the  province.  Seventy  per  cent,  live  in  the  steppe 
districts  of  Kurgan,  Ishim,  Tyukalinsk,  and  Yalutorovsk.  In 
the  Tyukalinsk  district  there  have  been  since  1802  colonies  of 
Finns,  descendants  of  prisoners  taken  by  the  Russians  in  the 
war  against  Charles  XII  of  Sweden. 

Tomsk  has  seen  a  more  rapid  increase  of  its  population  than 
any  other  province,  the  extension  of  colonization  being  espe- 
cially due  to  the  opening  of  the  Cabinet  estates  in  the  Altai 
to  general  colonization.  The  northern  part  of  the  province 
is  Crown  land  under  the  Ministry  of  Agriculture,  but  the 
southern  districts  (Barnaul,  Biisk,  and  Zmyeinogorsk),  which 
are  Imperial  lands,  are  the  most  thickly  populated.  Since 
1865  there  has  been  a  constant  increase  of  immigration  into 
these  regions  ;  in  the  last  decade  of  last  century,  300,000 
settlers  arrived,  and  so  attractive  are  the  prospects  that  this 
rich  mining  district  presents  that  no  facilities  are  now  given 


to  new  arrivals  by  the  government.  The  Altai  district  has 
been  kept  clear  of  exiles.  By  1900  practically  all  the  available 
land  for  colonization  along  the  Siberian  Railway  had  been 
taken  up.  But  land  has  also  been  allotted  in  the  taigas  of 
Tomsk,  Chulim,  and  Mariinsk,  and  the  black  earth  of  the 
taiga  is  extremely  good,  when  the  ground  is  cleared.  The 
increase  of  population  has  been  phenomenal :  in  1858  it  was 
694,651  ;  in  1897  it  was  1,929,092  ;  it  was  estimated  in  1911 
at  3,673,746.  Of  this  population  93^  per  cent,  is  Russian ; 
one  city,  Kainsk,  is  predominantly  Jewish.  Other  elements 
in  the  population  are  Ostyaks  in  the  north,  Samoyedes  (about 
6,500),  Tartars  and  Bokharians  ('  Kalmuks  '),  and  Teleuts 
or  Telengites  in  the  Altai. 

Steppe  General  Government. — The  Russians  first  arrived  in 
these  parts  in  the  sixteenth  century.  The  type  has  become 
much  transformed  by  cross-breeding,  and  has  grown  to  approxi- 
mate to  that  of  the  Siberian  steppe-dweller.  Military  occu- 
pation long  preceded  the  coming  of  peaceful  colonists.  Their 
settlements  along  the  River  Irtish  and  along  the  Biisk  line 
in  the  Tomsk  Government  guarded  the  country  against  Tartar 
invasion  :  as  many  as  5,174,949  desyatins  were  occupied  by 
troops  ;  but  it  was  felt  towards  the  end  of  last  century  that 
the  Cossacks  did  little  for  the  civilization  of  the  wild  nomadic 
tribes.  In  1868  there  was  not  yet  a  single  peasant  settlement. 
In  1875  a  cry  was  raised  for  peasant  immigrants,  when  the 
Governor-General  of  the  Steppes  stated  that  the  civilizing 
effects  of  the  Cossack  settlements  were  very  indifferent,  and 
accordingly  a  survey  of  the  Akmolinsk  steppe  was  ordered. 
The  Russification  of  the  Kirghiz  on  the  steppes  has  been  due 
much  more  to  methods  of  peaceful  penetration  by  traders  and 
settlers  than  to  the  military  occupation  of  the  country,  though 
in  Akmolinsk  the  proportion  of  Cossacks  to  the  whole  popula- 
tion was  109  to  the  thousand,  and  in  Semipalatinsk  42  to  the 
thousand.  In  introducing  the  peasant  settlers  every  effort 
was  made  that  they  should  encroach  as  little  as  possible  on 
the  rights  of  the  native  tribes.  As  in  all  provinces  where  there 
are  many  Cossacks,  raskolniki  abound,  and  in  some  parts 


(e.  g.  round  Kokchetav  and  Petropavlovsk)  a  certain  number 
of  Cossacks,  estimated  at  1,700,  are  Mohammedans.  The 
greatest  element  in  the  steppe  population  is  now  the  peasants  : 
in  Akmolinsk  they  are  54-2  per  cent.,  though  in  Uralsk  they 
are  only  16-5  per  cent.  The  Cossacks  are  most  in  Uralsk, 
where  they  are  75  per  cent.,  while  the  artisans,  gentry,  and 
official  class  are  most  in  Turgai  (48  per  cent.)  and  Semipala- 
tinsk  (41-6  per  cent.).  The  Kirghiz  are  still  considerably  the 
largest  section  of  the  population.  The  population  has  grown 
enormously  in  Akmolinsk,  less  in  Semipalatinsk,  the  figures 
being  in  Akmolinsk  in  1858,  277,451,  in  1897,  678,957,  and 
in  1911  (estimated),  1,443,721  ;  in  Semipalatinsk  in  1858, 
217,451,  in  1897,  685,197,  and  in  1911  (estimated),  873,760. 

Yeniseisk. — The  bulk  of  the  land  in  this  province  lying  to 
the  north  is  stony  and  swampy  and  unfit  for  cultivation.  The 
district  of  Turukhansk,  which  comprises  more  than  two- 
thirds  of  the  territory,  only  contains  a  small  proportion  of  the 
population.  Fully  80  per  cent,  of  the  inhabitants  live  in  the 
district  of  the  railway.  The  most  favoured  part  of  all  is 
Minusinsk,  where,  attracted  by  the  best  climate  in  Siberia, 
a  large  number  of  settlers  have  planted  themselves  at  their 
own  risk.  In  1907  the  Government  Survey  Staff  surveyed 
and  prepared  for  incoming  colonists  unoccupied  territory 
to  the  extent  of  102,600  desyatins.  When  the  Russians 
settled  in  this  district  they  drove  the  native  inhabitants  either 
north  to  the  tundras  or  south  to  the  Minusinsk  steppes.  The 
native  inhabitants  include  in  the  north,  Ostyaks,  Samoyedes, 
Tungus,  Yuraks,  and  Yakuts  ;  in  the  south,' '  Kalmuks',  Teleut 
Tartars,  Chern  Tartars,  Sagais  and  Abakansk  Tartars.  In 
the  Achinsk  and  Minusinsk  districts  the  native  population 
was  growing  in  1900.  The  Russians,  however,  are  about  90  per 
cent,  of  the  population.  Yeniseisk  had  303,256  inhabitants 
in  1858,  559,902  in  1897,  and  in  1911  they  were  estimated  at 

Irkutsk. — The  conditions  in  this  province  have  been  much 
the  same  as  in  Yeniseisk.  In  both,  the  bulk  of  the  population 
is  settled  along  the  railway.     But  more  than  in   Yeniseisk 


the  district  was  used  as  a  dumping-ground  for  convicts.  Before 
1900,  convicts  to  the  number  of  950  to  1,000  were  forwarded 
annually.  Until  the  Siberian  Railway  was  opened  there  was 
very  little  immigration  into  this  region,  but  it  is  now  rapidly 
developing.  In  1896  grants  of  15  desyatins  per  man  were 
made.  Native  populations,  which  a  few  years  ago  were 
reckoned  at  21  per  cent,  of  the  whole,  include  Buryats, 
Tungus,  Tartars,  Ostyaks,  and  Soyots.  In  1858  the  popula- 
tion was  222,533,  in  1897  it  was  506,517,  and  in  1911  it  was 
estimated  at  750,000. 

Yakutsk. — There  is  little  that  can  be  called  colonization  in 
this  vast  territory.  Russian  population  is  only  found  where 
there  are  mines  :  even  the  posthouses  along  the  Lena  post- 
road  are  largely  kept  by  Yakuts,  and  where  the  Russian 
population  is  sparse  it  has  adopted  the  Yakut  language.  In 
1897  the  population  was  261,731  ;  in  1911  it  was  estimated 
at  277,187. 

Transbaikal. — The  conditions  of  this  territory  are  some- 
what special.  Peasant  colonies  are  rare  ;  most  of  the  settlers 
pass  through  it  and  fix  their  habitations  in  the  Amur  district. 
In  1900  it  was  estimated  that  only  12  per  cent,  of  the  settled 
land  was  occupied  by  peasants,  while  45  per  cent,  belonged 
to  the  natives  and  35  per  cent,  was  in  the  hands  of  the  Cossacks. 
But  only  27  per  cent,  of  the  total  area  of  the  Transbaikal  is 
cultivated  at  all,  40,000,000  desyatins  lying  waste.  There  are 
a  great  number  of  exile -settlers  in  this  district,  the  abode  of 
many  who  have  become  vagrants  not  being  known.  The 
most  famous  exiles  of  this  district  were  the  Dekabrists,  as 
those  who  took  part  in  the  plot  of  December  14,  1825,  are 
styled.  These  were  made  to  construct  their  own  prison  in 
Chita,  and  by  their  improvements  in  draining  and  levelling 
transformed  the  place  from  a  village  into  a  prosperous  settle- 
ment, now  the  capital  of  the  province.  The  Cossack  occupa- 
tion of  the  province  dates  from  the  middle  of  the  seventeenth 
century  ;  in  the  eighteenth  century  it  was  more  fully  enlarged 
and  organized.  When  in  the  fifties  of  last  century  the  Amur 
region  was  absorbed  by  Russia,  Transbaikal  Cossacks  were 


transferred  there.  The  land  assigned  to  the  Cossacks  amounts 
to  3,000,000  desyatins :  it  is  under  the  management  of  the 
community  represented  by  the  stanitsa  or  village  and  the; 
sotnya  or  group  of  a  hundred  soldiers.  A  great  number  of 
rasholniki  live  in  this  territory.  It  was  the  scene  of  exile 
of  the  famous  dissenter  Avakum.  The  Russian  element  in 
the  population  in  1900  was  estimated  at  64  per  cent.  The 
peasants  are  settled  principally  in  the  Selenginsk,  Verkhne- 
Udinsk  and  Chita  districts ;  the  Cossacks  occupy  the  land  near 
the  frontier  and  the  villages  of  the  Rivers  Dzhida,  the  lower 
Chikoi,  the  Onon,  the  Ingoda,  the  Shilka,  and  all  the  eastern 
portion  of  the  territory.  Sometimes  their  settlements  alter- 
nate with  peasant  villages.  The  native  tribes  are  the  Tungus 
and  the  Buryats  :  the  former  are  chiefly  in  the  districts  of 
Chita,  Selenginsk,  and  Barguzin  ;  the  latter  mostly  in  the 
same  districts  and  Verkhne-Udinsk.  The  growth  of  popula- 
tion has  been  steady  :  in  1858  it  was  352,534  ;  in  1897  it  was 
664,071  ;   in  1911  it  was  estimated  at  868,790. 

Amur. — The  beginning  of  Russia's  colonization  of  the  Amur 
territory  was  in  the  spring  of  1857.  A  regiment  of  three  sotnyas 
of  Transbaikal  Cossacks  was  ordered  to  settle  with  their  wives 
and  children  along  the  Amur.  They  came  down  the  river  on 
rafts  and  were  settled  in  stanitsas  along  the  river  at  distances 
varying  from  12  to  18  miles,  the  distance  being  determined 
rather  from  the  desire  of  keeping  up  communications  than  the 
suitability  of  the  places  for  agriculture.  Their  task  was  to 
defend  the  frontier  towards  China  and  to  provide  postal  com- 
munication between  the  Amur  district  and  Transbaikal.  The 
original  settlers  suffered  terribly  from  the  natural  difficulties 
with  which  they  had  to  contend,  so  that,  although  it  was 
a  peaceful  occupation,  the  casualties  were  equivalent  to  those 
of  a  campaign  ;  later,  in  1877,  an  inundation  spoilt  most  of 
the  land  assigned  to  the  Amur  Cossacks.  In  four  years  from 
their  first  arrival  they  had  established  throughout  the  Amur 
basin  60  villages  with  a  population  of  11,850.  The  land  had 
been  previously  uninhabited  with  the  exception  of  the  con- 
fluence of  the  Zeya  and  Amur,  where  Chinese  Manchus  lived. 


In  1869  peasant  colonization  began,  the  first  settlers  being 
religious  sectaries  from  the  Tauric  and  Samara  Governments. 
There  are  a  large  number  of  rasholniki  in  the  territory,  esti- 
mated at  10  per  cent,  of  the  population,  the  most  prominent 
being  the  Bezpopovists  and  Molokani  (milk-drinkers).  Immi- 
gration is  now  on  a  large  scale,  even  where  no  government 
assistance  is  given,  and  despite  the  journey  of  a  month  or 
six  weeks  required  to  reach  this  region.  Whole  families  are 
added  to  communes  which  still  have  free  land  at  their  disposal. 
Colonists,  where  there  are  fifteen  or  more  families  from  the 
same  place,  form  a  commune  together,  which  receives  its  name 
according  to  the  desire  of  the  settlers.  Nansen  gives  the 
figures  of  the  total  population  in  1911  as  286,263,  of  whom 
43,959  were  non-Russians  :  that  is  to  say,  mostly  yellow  men. 
At  Blagoslovennoe,  at  the  junction  of  the  Samara  and  Amur, 
there  is  a  settlement  of  about  1,000  Koreans.  Manchu-Chinese 
are  found  mainly  along  the  river  for  44  miles  below  Blago- 
slovennoe and  for  14  miles  inland.  In  1897  the  population 
of  the  territory  was  118,570.  In  1911  it  was  estimated  at 

Maritime  Province  (Primorsk). — Following  on  the  occupa- 
tion of  the  Amur  territory  came  the  occupation  of  the  Ussuri 
district.  Battalions  of  Cossacks  from  the  Transbaikal  had 
orders  to  settle  along  the  Ussuri :  the  colonization  of  the 
district  began  in  1859,  but  progressed  slowly.  As  in  the  Amur 
territory,  the  original  settlers  suffered  terribly,  and  were 
assigned  land  without  proper  care  being  taken  to  see  whether 
it  was  suitable  for  colonization.  The  actual  journey  to  their 
new  settlements  took  a  year  and  a  half.  A  big  inundation 
of  the  Ussuri  added  to  their  troubles,  and  their  morale  was 
not  improved  when  they  were  joined  by  an  army  which  had 
been  sent  there  for  a  punishment.  They  had  difficulty  in 
resisting  a  Chinese  revolt  in  1868,  and  many  of  them  became 
dependent  on  the  Manses  (Manzi)  for  money  help  and  found 
them  rigorous  and  exacting  masters.  In  1882  an  experiment 
was  made  ;  a  three  years'  trial  was  to  be  given  to  250  families 
brought  annually  from  Odessa  at  the  cost  of  the  Government, 


315,000  roubles  per  annum  being  assigned  for  the  purpose. 
Altogether  to  the  Ussuri  district  there  have  migrated  between 
1859  and  1913  about  250,000  Russian  peasants,  exclusive  of 
the  Cossack  population  :  some  of  the  new  settlers  came  from 
Siberia,  some  from  European  Russia.  The  Cossacks  were 
posted  along  the  Ussuri  valley,  but  further  investigation  was 
made  to  see  how  much  room  there  was  for  more  settlers,  and 
in  1911  the  colonists  were  granted  Cossack  land  to  a  reasonable 
extent ;  the  Cossacks,  who  had  the  pick  of  the  land,  not  being 
as  a  rule  very  good  settlers.  In  another  part  of  the  xorovince, 
sailors  stationed  at  the  mouth  of  the  Amur  have  been  allowed 
to  retire  after  15  years'  service,  have  received  a  plot  of  land, 
and  have  been  permitted  to  send  for  their  wives  and  children 
at  the  expense  of  the  Government.  The  Russian  population 
is  settled  mainly  in  the  valleys  of  the  Rivers  Suifun,  Lefu,  and 
Suchan,  about  Lake  Khanka,  along  the  right  bank  of  the 
Sungacha  and  Ussuri,  and  in  the  district  about  Olgi  Bay.  The 
great  increase  of  immigration  after  the  Russo-Japanese  war 
found  the  local  authorities  unprepared,  and  the  defective 
arrangements  had  a  prejudicial  effect  in  later  years.  Nansen 
gives  the  figures  of  the  total  population  in  1911  as  523,840, 
of  whom  360,437  were  Russians  ;  but  these  figures  do  not 
include  the  Chinese  and  Koreans,  who  work  during  the  summer 
and  then  return  to  their  homes.  The  number  of  settlers  from 
1900  to  1909  was  142,674,  and  in  the  year  1913,  13,011. 

Kamchatka  is  the  name  for  the  territory  detached  from  the 
Maritime  Province,  including  all  that  is  north  of  lat.  56°  N. 
It  is  not  at  all  adapted  for  colonization.  The  attempts  made 
in  past  years  have  been  practically  abandoned.  Only  a  few 
Russians  are  found  at  isolated  points,  and  the  entire  popula- 
tion in  1911  was  only  estimated  at  36,012.  Investigations 
into  the  possibility  of  colonizing  Kamchatka  are  proceeding. 

Sakhalin. — By  the  Convention  of  March  18,  1867,  Russia 
and  Japan  secured  the  common  right  to  occupy  unappro- 
priated places  all  over  the  island.  This  caused  a  keen  com- 
petition between  them,  but  Japan  had  the  advantage  of  being 
a  close  neighbour,  and  the  Russians  were  forced  either  to 


draw  settlers  from  Europe  by  the  inducement  of  great  privi- 
leges, or  to  found  settlements  of  unmarried  soldiers,  a  system 
which  was  valueless  for  the  purpose  of  peopling  the  country. 
The  Russians  had  not  enough  men  to  occupy  the  desirable 
places  in  the  island  ;  so  they  erected  posts  which  bore  inscrip- 
tions to  show  that  occupation  had  taken  place.  This  method 
was  promptly  copied  by  the  Japanese.  In  1869  a  party  of 
800  convicts  was  sent  to  Sakhalin,  and  when  it  became 
a  penal  colony  all  women  sentenced  to  hard  labour  were  for- 
warded to  this  island  from  European  Russia  '  with  a  view  to 
secure  the  family  principle  '.  All  exile  settlers  receive  grants 
of  land  and  a  loan  from  the  Government  for  the  organization 
of  the  household  ;  on  obtaining  a  good  character  they  are 
allowed  to  settle  in  the  Amur  and  Maritime  territories.  On 
April  25,  1875,  the  Japanese  share  in  Sakhalin  was  exchanged 
for  the  Kuril  Islands,  but  by  the  treaty  of  Portsmouth  (1905) 
Russia  lost  all  the  island  south  of  lat.  50°  N.  In  1897,  while 
the  island  was  entirely  in  Russian  hands,  the  population  was 
estimated  as  follows  : 

Official  class  (military  and  civil)  2,500 

Peasants  8,000 

Exile  settlers  7,500 

Exile  convicts  7,000 

The  population  of  what  remains  to  Russia  was  estimated  in 
1911  as  8,849. 

The  colonization  of  the  Far  East  has  been  a  matter  of  the 
first  political  importance  for  the  protection  of  the  Russian 
interests,  but  a  great  deal  has  to  be  done  to  make  it  a  success 
in  view  of  the  special  difficulties.  The  loans,  usually  of  150 
to  200  roubles,  are  too  small ;  there  is  a  great  dearth  of  roads 
and  no  sufficient  organization  of  development  in  road-making  ; 
there  are  no  possibilities  of  a  large  sale  of  the  produce  of  the 
farms  in  the  neighbourhood ;  greater  efforts  should  be  made 
to  secure  that  the  new  conditions  shall  be  approximated  as 
much  as  possible  to  the  old  conditions  of  the  settlers. 



The  growth  of  population  in  Siberia,  mainly  due  to  immigra- 
tion, has  been  very  remarkable.  A  population  which  at  the 
end  of  the  eighteenth  century  was  about  1,500,000  is  now 
estimated  at  more  than  12,000,000,  including  districts  of 
Central  Asia.  Even  in  the  forty  years  between  1858  and  1897, 
before  the  great  wave  of  immigration,  it  had  doubled  itself. 
The  same  rapid  growth  may  be  seen  in  particular  towns ;  as 
one  illustration  Novo-Nikolaevsk  may  be  mentioned.  It  was 
founded  in  1896,  and  in  1913  it  had  a  population  of  70,600 

The  areas  inhabited  by  Russians  are  the  following  : 

In  the  north  along  the  great  rivers  we  find  Russians  in 
isolated  districts  along  the  Ob  :  e.  g.  Narim,  the  confluence 
with  the  Irtish,  Berezov,  &c.  The  Yenisei  valley  and  the 
Lena  valley  down  to  Yakutsk  are  settled  by  Russians  and 
so  are  lateral  strips  of  land  between,  along  the  river  Vilyui  and 
to  the  Lower  Tunguska ;  further  east  there  are  isolated  points, 
such  as  Verkhoyansk  and  Nizhne-Kolimsk. 

The  black  earth  belt  is  the  chief  zone  of  Russian  occupation  : 
the  northern  boundary  of  settlement  runs  by  Verkhoture, 
Turinsk,  Tobolsk,  Tara,  Kainsk,  Tomsk,  Yeniseisk,  thence 
along  the  line  of  the  Upper  Tunguska  to  the  upper  Lena  ; 
the  southern  boundary  runs  south  of  the  great  Siberian  road 
and  Siberian  railway  from  Verkhne-Uralsk  to  Omsk  ;  thence 
along  the  River  Irtish  till  it  nears  the  Mongolian  frontier. 
The  boundary  line  of  the  Russian  district  then  runs  north 
almost  to  Mariinsk  ;  then  with  a  detour  to  include  the  district 
round  Minusinsk,  the  line  runs  south  of  the  great  Siberian  road 
to  the  south-west  corner  of  Lake  Baikal  and  along  the  eastern 
shore  of  the  lake. 

There  are  '  islands  '  of  Russian  occupation  about  the  Kirghiz 
steppes,  e.  g.  Kokchetav,  Atbasar  and  Karkaralinsk. 

Other  districts  in  Eastern  Siberia  occupied  by  Russians  are  : 

(1)  The  Selenga  valley  to  Kyakhta. 

(2)  The  region  from  Chita  to  the  confluence  of  the  Rivers 


Shilka  and  Argun,  including  all  the  district  between  the  rivers 
from  a  line  drawn  SW.  from  Chita  to  the  Mongolian  frontier. 

(3)  The  left  bank  of  the  Amur  to  Khabarovsk. 

(4)  Both  banks  of  the  Amur  from  Khabarovsk  toNikolaevsk. 

(5)  The  Ussuri  valley  and  the  district  between  Vladivostok 
and  Olgi  Bay. 

(6)  Okhotsk. 

(7)  Certain  districts  in  Kamchatka. 

The  Yellow  Question  and  Colonization 
Advantages  and  disadvantages  of  Chinese  labour 

A  Russian  in  the  eastern  provinces  would  find  it  difficult 
to  say  whether  it  was  hardest  to  get  on  with  or  without  the 
labour  of  the  yellow  races.  On  the  one  hand  the  presence  of 
workers  who  are  frugal  and  content  with  low  wages,  of  great 
skill  and  application,  is  likely  to  be  a  formidable  menace  to 
the  position  of  the  Russian  immigrants,  and  the  immigration 
of  a  yellow  population,  all  of  them  able-bodied,  so  that  soon 
there  will  be  one  oriental  labourer  to  every  able-bodied 
Russian,  seems  likely  to  justify  the  warning  of  Li  Hung  Chang 
that  Russian  interference  with  China  would  turn  Siberia  into 
a  Chinese  province.  On  the  other  hand  there  is  no  doubt  that 
the  resources  of  the  land  have  been  enormously  developed  by 
Chinese  labour  ;  we  have  only  to  compare  the  appearance  of 
Vladivostok,  where  Chinese  labour  has  been  largely  employed, 
with  that  of  some  purely  Siberian  town  to  realize  how  depen- 
dent these  eastern  provinces  are  for  their  prosperity  on  the 
yellow  man.  In  Vladivostok,  Russian  paving  had  to  be  taken 
up  almost  as  soon  as  laid  and  replaced  with  the  work  of  Chinese 
labourers  ;  a  quay  erected  by  Chinamen  soon  replaced  one 
clumsily  erected  by  Russians.  Russia  has  to  face  the  problem 
whether  her  eastern  provinces  shall  be  developed  efficiently 
by  the  labour  of  aliens  who  will  surpass  her  own  population 
in  numbers  and  resources,  or  whether  the  yellow  races  shall 
be  excluded  and  the  provinces  be  less  completely  developed. 
Already,  in  1904,  of  487  industrial  undertakings  192  belonged 


to  Orientals  and  employed  no  Russians,  while  295  belonged 
to  Russians  but  employed  yellow  labour.  In  the  villages 
the  Chinese  secure  a  monopoly  of  trade  among  the  local 
population,  supplying  them  with  all  necessaries.  At  present 
the  policy  is  directed  towards  exclusion,  and  it  is  only  surrepti- 
tiously that  Chinese  labour  can  be  employed  in  the  Amur 
and  Ussuri  valleys  ;  at  least  that  was  so  just  before  the 
present  war  broke  out,  but  with  the  able-bodied  men  called  up 
for  military  service  it  is  likely  that  the  rigour  of  the  policy 
initiated  by  the  Governor-General  of  the  Priamur  will  have 
to  be  considerably  modified. 

Strength  and  distribution  of  Chinese 

In  the  Ussuri  district  the  original  masters  of  the  land  were 
the  Chinese  tribes  of  Manses  (Manzi),  and  they  have  to  a  con- 
siderable extent  reinstated  themselves  in  their  old  position, 
by  the  money  help  that  they  have  given  (at  usurious  interest) 
to  the  Cossack  and  peasant  settlers  and  by  their  bullying 
methods  of  trading  with  the  native  inhabitants.  They  are 
in  a  very  strong  position,  as  under  the  terms  of  the  Treaty  of 
Peking  (1860)  Chinese  offenders  on  Russian  soil  have  to  be  tried 
by  Chinese  magistrates  even  for  minor  offences.  In  the 
interior  of  this  same  region  the  Chinese  have  villages  of  their 
own  which  are  governed  by  their  own  headmen.  The  ruthless 
treatment  of  the  Chinese  at  Blagovyeshchensk  in  1900,  when 
numbers  of  them  were  driven  into  the  river  and  drowned 
there,  checked  for  a  time  Chinese  settlement  along  the  Amur, 
but  the  shortage  of  agricultural  labour  during  the  Russo- 
Japanese  War  gave  an  opportunity  to  the  Chinese  that  they 
did  not  neglect,  and  the  immigration  of  the  yellow  labourers 
received  a  great  impetus  despite  the  fact  that  Russian  prestige 
demanded  a  reduction  in  their  numbers  and  importance. 
It  was  always  easy  to  cross  the  frontier  unperceived,  and  the 
Russian  bank  of  the  Amur  and  Ussuri  was  more  popular  than 
the  opposite  bank  in  their  own  territory.  In  1904  the  propor- 
tion of  Chinese  to  the  Russian  population  in  the  Amur  and 
Ussuri  districts  was  16  per  cent.    In  1908  it  was  24  per  cent. 



Unlike  the  Koreans  they  do  not  attempt  to  settle  permanently 
on  the  land.  In  Transbaikal  the  spread  of  Chinese  immigration 
was  even  more  decided,  especially  in  1909.  The  Chinese 
merchant  is  found  as  far  west  as  Irkutsk,  and  in  the  country 
east  of  Baikal  the  Chinese  small  trader  reigns  supreme.  Every- 
where much  labour  is  wanted  and  the  Chinese  are  indispensable. 
Nor  will  they  be  less  indispensable  because  the  Government 
orders  that  they  shall  be  dispensed  with.  A  passage  from  a 
Russian  author  will  illustrate  the  way  in  which  Russian 
needs  are  met  by  labour  and  commodities  from  over  the 
Chinese  frontier  :  '  A  man  in  Khabarovsk,  for  instance,  lives 
in  a  house  built  by  Chinese  labour  of  Manchurian  timber  : 
the  stove  is  made  of  Chinese  bricks.  In  the  morning  the 
Manchu  vanyka  brings  water  from  the  well.  In  the  kitchen 
the  Chinese  boy  gets  the  Tula  samovar  ready.  The  master 
of  the  house  drinks  his  Chinese  tea,  with  bread  made  of 
Manchurian  flour  from  a  Chinese  bakery.  The  Chinese  and 
Koreans  come  and  offer  their  produce,  eggs,  vegetables, 
fruit  from  Shanghai  and  so  on.  The  boy  runs  to  the  bazaar 
to  fetch  Mongolian  meat  and  cooks  the  dinner.  The  mistress 
of  the  house  wears  a  dress  made  by  a  Chinese  tailor,  and  the 
master  gets  into  his  chetchuncha  when  the  warm  weather 
begins.    In  the  yard  a  Korean  is  at  work  chopping  wood.' 


The  Koreans  are  an  important  element  among  the  immi- 
grants. They  began  to  cross  the  border  in  1860.  Bad  years 
of  harvest  and  the  extortions  of  the  official  class  had  driven 
them  from  their  country.  In  1869  there  was  wholesale  immi- 
gration from  Korea  to  the  Ussuri  district,  and  after  that 
there  has  been  a  steadily  increasing  influx.  In  this  country 
there  is  a  great  deal  of  undeveloped  land,  mostly  prairie  with 
scattered  trees.  This  land  is  in  the  hands  of  Cossacks  who 
live  in  the  villages  and  spend  their  time  in  the  taverns  while 
the  Koreans  to  whom  the  land  is  leased  actively  develop  it. 
They  are  more  efficient  farmers  than  the  Russians  and 
their  results  are  correspondingly  better.     They  do  not  blend 


at  all  with  the  Russian  inhabitants,  for  instead  of  living  in 
villages  they  dwell  in  tents  in  the  middle  of  their  fields. 
Though  pre-eminently  agriculturists,  some  of  them  settle  in 
the  towns  near  the  scattered  gold-mines. 

In  1882  there  was  an  edict  that  none  but  Russian  subjects 
should  acquire  land  in  Siberia  :  only  in  exceptional  circum- 
stances could  the  Governor-General  give  leave  to  foreigners. 
An  agreement  was  made  with  the  Korean  Government  that 
Koreans  who  had  immigrated  before  1884  could  be  admitted 
to  Russian  citizenship,  and  later  arrivals  could  remain  in  the 
country  for  a  short  time,  but  must  then  sell  their  immovable 
property  and  return  to  Korea.  This  was  not  put  in  force 
till  1891,  when  many  Korean  settlers  were  given  land  by  the 
Chinese  in  Manchuria.  Besides  the  temporary  occupation  of 
land  for  short  periods,  there  is  an  annual  migration  of  Koreans 
who  work  in  these  provinces  from  the  spring  to  the  autumn, 
but  return  home  for  the  winter. 


The  immigration  of  the  Japanese  has  been  mainly  after  the 
Russo-Japanese  War.  The  Japanese  artisan  is  to  be  found 
throughout  eastern  Siberia  ;  in  crafts  he  is  superior  to  the 
average  Siberian,  and  immeasurably  so  in  diligence,  sobriety, 
and  general  trustworthiness. 

The  Hunghuses 

There  is  a  further  danger  which  menaces  alike  the  Russian 
settlers  and  the  orderly  yellow  inhabitants.  This  comes  from 
the  Hunghuses,  bands  of  robbers,  whose  origin  is  uncertain. 
It  seems  probable  that  they  have  been  mainly  recruited  from 
criminals  escaping  from  j  ustice  and  other  dregs  of  the  Chinese 
population,  who  were  attracted  to  northern  Manchuria  by  its 
remoteness,  and,  when  there,  took  to  gold-mining,  a  capital 
offence  when  unauthorized.  At  first  a  disorderly  rabble, 
they  are  now  armed  with  Mauser  rifles  of  German  military 
pattern.  They  have  long  been  a  terror  to  the  peaceable 
Chinese  occupants  of  the  district  between  the  Ussuri  and  the 

O  2 


Amur.  They  have  penetrated  into  the  Russian  territory  of 
the  Maritime  Province,  drawn  thither  by  the  attraction  of 
the  poppy-beds,  and  the  desolate  character  of  the  interior 
of  the  province  has  given  them  many  opportunities  of  working 
mischief,  though  they  stand  in  much  more  awe  of  Russian 
authority  than  of  Chinese.  However,  with  the  withdrawal 
of  the  bulk  of  the  male  population,  owing  to  the  European  War, 
and  the  weakening  of  the  village  fortifications,  the  Hunghuses 
were  greatly  strengthened.  There  have  been  sporadic  raids 
on  Russian  settlements,  culminating  in  a  serious  attack  on 
the  port  at  Olgi  Bay,  to  repel  which  a  Russian  armed  force 
had  to  be  landed. 

Russian  Views  on  Yellow  Labour 
Russian  writers  show  great  alarm  at  the  growth  of  yellow 
labour  and  its  competition  with  that  of  the  white  man,  who 
has  to  be  fetched  from  a  greater  distance  and  whose  standard 
of  comfort  and  proportionate  demand  for  wages  is  higher.  It 
has  been  pointed  out  that  Russian  labour  can  be  brought 
into  competition  with  Chinese  by  the  introduction  of  labourers 
from  the  west,  who  have  no  intention  of  settling.  Some 
hundreds  are  brought  by  the  special  emigrant  tariff  ;  they 
arrive  in  the  spring  and  leave  in  the  autumn,  and  earn  several 
hundreds  of  roubles  more  than  the  cost  of  their  journey.  For 
public  works  it  is  no  good  making  a  demand  of  labour  from  the 
colonists :  they  are  far  too  busy  during  the  first  years  in  meeting 
their  own  requirements,  and  cannot  spare  time  and  labour 
even  under  the  inducement  of  good  pay.  The  Koreans  are 
regarded  as  more  dangerous  than  the  Chinese,  because  of 
their  desire  of  settling  permanently  on  the  land.  The  alarm 
takes  the  form  of  a  demand  for  a  huge  staff  of  supervisors 
and  inspectors,  and  a  strict  registration  of  the  number  of  yellow 
immigrants.  A  partial  attempt  in  1906-7,  in  part  of  the 
Primorsk  Province,  showed  that  there  were  in  one  region  only 
of  the  Ussuri  district  14,000  Korean  Russian  subjects  and 
26,000  Korean  foreigners,  and  these  numbers  should  probably 
be  increased  by  10,000,  as  the  enumeration  only  took  place 
in  the  most  populated  southern  portion  of  the  district.    Other 


demands  have  been  that  those  suffering  from  contagious 
diseases  shall  be  prohibited  from  entrance,  that  the  frontier 
shall  only  be  crossed  at  certain  points  and  then  with  the 
sanction  of  the  Russian  consul,  that  annual  permits  shall  be 
held  and  paid  for  and  a  fine  exacted  if  they  are  not  renewed. 
But  the  most  insistent  demand  is  that  in  all  Government 
enterprises  Russian  labour  shall  be  made  to  replace  the  labour 
of  the  yellow  man,  even  though  it  cost  more.  The  question 
of  their  settling  on  Crown  lands  is  also  urgent :  many  Chinese 
and  Koreans  are  said  to  be  settled  owing  to  some  illegality, 
and  Russians  do  not  view  with  equanimity  the  occupation 
of  a  large  amount  of  agricultural  land  by  yellow  men. 

Encouragement  op  Colonization  in  Arctic  Russia 

Since  1876  the  Russian  government  has  been  encouraging 
the  colonization  of  the  Murman  coast  and  has  offered  many 
inducements  to  settlers,  whether  Russian  born  or  naturalized 
foreigners.  Among  other  privileges  these  settlers  were  exemp- 
ted from  actual  military  service  and  passed  into  the  naval 
reserve.  They  were  excused  the  payment  of  state  taxes  and 
were  allowed  to  receive,  without  duty,  foreign  goods  imported 
in  Russian  or  foreign  ships  direct  to  the  coast.  But  this  regula- 
tion had  to  be  modified,  for  it  led  to  the  wholesale  importation 
of  intoxicating  liquors  and  general  drunkenness.  In  conse- 
quence the  importation  of  foreign  spirituous  liquors  was 
prohibited.  Other  privileges  granted  to  Murman  settlers 
were  :  state  loans  of  from  £5  to  £15  granted  at  the  discretion 
of  the  government  and  repayable  in  six  years  ;  free  timber 
for  building  or  a  subsidy  of  £10  to  £20  for  the  purchase  of 
timber  ;  and  the  right  to  hunt  fur -bearing  animals  and  to 
fish  without  licences.  These  conditions  applied  also  to  any 
nomadic  Lapps  who  wished  to  settle  definitely  on  the  Murman 
coast.  Finns  and  Norwegians  were  the  earliest  settlers  to 
be  attracted,  and  later  came  Russians.  The  establishment 
of  a  regular  line  of  steamers  between  Vardo  and  Arkhangel, 
under  government  subsidy,  helped  the  movement.  The  Finns 
and  Norwegians  kept  to  the  west  and  the  Russians  farther 


east.  There  are  Finn  villages  on  Bolshaya-Volokovaya  Bay 
on  the  west  of  Ribachi  Peninsula.  Many  of  the  settlers  are 
in  villages  on  Pechenga  Gulf,  where  the  Pechenga  Monastery 
is  situated.  Teriberskaya  Bay  and  Gavrilova  Bay  are  well 
peopled.  Kola  Inlet  is  another  centre  of  villages,  and  here 
are  the  most  important  settlements  on  the  coast,  Kola, 
Murmansk,  and  Alexandrovsk. 

Preponderating  Advantages] 
A  writer  in  the  Journal  of  the  Arkhangel  Society  (Mr.  O.  M. 
Latkin),  in  1912,  strongly  advocates  the  colonization  of  the 
extreme  north  of  European  Russia.  Against  the  rigorous 
climate  and  the  absence  of  means  of  communication  he  sets 
the  great  natural  wealth  of  the  region  :  its  mines,  meadows, 
forests,  and  its  rich  supply  of  animals,  birds,  and  fish. 

Conditions  of  colonizing  Crown  Lands 
In  order  to  attract  educated  brains  for  the  development 
of  these  resources  he  feels  it  essential  to  allow  a  free  choice 
of  land  from  the  Crown  provinces  on  the  following  conditions  : 
(a)  Crown  land  should  be  valued  proportionately  from  10-20 
roubles  (£1  Is.  4d.  to  £2  2s.  Sd.)  a  desyatin  (i.  e.  the  value 
of  the  rent  for  100  years — at  present  the  Crown  receives  10 
or  20  kopeks  (2|cZ.  to  5d.)  a  desyatin  for  the  northern  forests) ; 
(6)  unreserved  rights  of  working  the  forests  or  mines  should 
be  granted,  with  the  proviso  that  for  forest  material  a  tax 
should  be  levied  according  to  the  already  existing  tax,  of  which 
30  per  cent,  should  be  paid  by  the  owner  to  the  Crown  in  part 
payment  till  the  whole  is  paid  ;  the  remaining  70  per  cent, 
should  be  applied  for  the  benefit  of  the  owner  to  develop  such 
industries  as  tar-boiling,  pitch-distilling,  cattle-breeding,  or 

The  right  of  owning  large  tracts  should  be  distributed 
among  all  classes ;  large  tracts  should  be  allotted  at  distances 
of  not  less  than  40  or  50  versts  (26  to  34  miles)  from  one 
another,  so  that  new  settlers  or  the  aborigines  in  the  districts 
between  should  have  good  models  of  reformed  methods  of 
agriculture  to  copy. 


Roads  are  the  first  essential  condition. 

There  is  likely  to  be  obstruction  to  the  colonization  of  the 
Kanin  and  Timan  tundras  from  the  Samoyedes  on  the  strength 
of  an  edict  of  Ivan  Vasilovich  (April  15,  1545),  but  there  should 
i  not  be  a  pedantic  insistence  on  the  terms  of  an  obsolete  edict 
in  view  of  the  good  which  will  be  done  to  the  Samoyedes 
themselves,  who,  having  lost  nearly  all  their  reindeer  and 
being  reduced  to  abject  poverty,  could  learn  something  of 
rural  economy  from  their  new  neighbours,  and  would  fare  as 
prosperously  as  the  Samoyede  village  of  Kolvinsk  on  the 
>       River  Usa  in  the  Pechora  district. 

The  writer  referred  to  sees  no  insurmountable  obstacle  to 
the  colonizing  of  the  whole  of  the  north,  from  the  coast  of 
Norway  to  the  mouth  of  the  Yenisei,  and  suggests  the  employ- 
ment of  convict  labour  to  effect  his  object. 

Various  proposals  have  been  made  for  the  construction  of 
railways  in  north-eastern  Russia,  with  a  view  to  linking  the 
Ob  navigation  with  ports  on  the  Barents  Sea  and  facilitating 
Siberian  trade.  Though  these  railways  would  be  mainly 
concerned  with  through  traffic  they  would  help  to  open  up 
the  country  and  overcome  some  of  its  greatest  disadvantages 
to  colonists. 



Russian  Religion:  History — The  Clergy — Church  Government — The 
Orthodox  Religion — Raskolniki — Shamanism . 

Russian  Religion 


The  Russian  Orthodox  Church  is  a  branch  of  the  Eastern 
Church.  In  988  Vladimir  was  converted  and  had  his  subjects 
baptized  in  platoons  in  the  Dnieper.  For  a  long  time  the 
Russian  Church  was  in  close  dependence  on  Byzantium,  but 
with  the  fall  of  the  Eastern  Empire  Russia,  who  had  gradually 
asserted  her  independence,  took  her  place  as  defender  of  the 
faith  :  in  the  sixteenth  century  the  patriarchate  of  Moscow 
(transferred  from  Vladimir  and  before  that  from  Kiev)  was 
recognized  by  the  patriarch  of  Constantinople.  Nikon, 
patriarch  of  Moscow,  in  the  middle  of  the  seventeenth  century, 
carried  out  a  series  of  reforms  consisting  largely  of  the  correc- 
tion of  errors  which  had  crept  into  the  rites  and  liturgical 
books  ;  but,  although  he  insisted  that  he  was  only  reverting 
to  the  practice  of  the  primitive  Church,  his  reforms  were 
met  with  much  vehement  opposition  led  by  the  Tsarina.  The 
Starovyeri  (Old  Believers)  would  not  consent  to  such  changes 
as  the  use  of  Alleluia  three  times  (in  honour  of  the  Trinity) 
instead  of  twice  (in  recognition  of  the  human  and  divine 
nature  of  Jesus  Christ),  nor  for  the  same  reasons  to  the  use 
of  three  instead  of  two  ringers  in  giving  the  blessing.  Ana- 
themas were  as  ineffective  as  appeals  to  reason,  and  the 
fact  that  they  were  anathematized  in  the  year  1666  made  the 
Schismatics  think  of  the  number  of  the  Beast  in  the  Book  of 
Revelation  and  anticipate  the  reign  of  Antichrist.     From  this 


time  dates  the  great  schism,  which  led  to  exile  and  the  forma- 
tion of  many  dissenting  bodies.  Peter  the  Great  asserted 
his  authority  by  keeping  the  patriarchate  vacant  for  twenty 
years,  and  then,  in  1721,  establishing  in  its  place  the  Holy 
Synod,  consisting  of  ecclesiastics  nominated  by  himself,  with 
the  Procurator-General,  a  layman,  as  Imperial  Representative. 
The  Holy  Synod  now  contains  the  metropolitans  of  Moscow, 
Petrograd,  and  Kiev,  the  Archbishop  of  Georgia,  and  other 
bishops  sitting  in  rotation. 

The  Clergy 

The  clergy  are  divided  into  Black  (regular  or  monastic) 
and  White  (secular),  whose  brown  habit  belies  their  name. 
The  former  must  be  celibate,  and  all  bishops  and  high  digni- 
taries of  the  Church  are  drawn  from  among  them.  Their 
ranks  are  archierei  (metropolitans,  archbishops,  and  bishops), 
archimandrit  (abbots),  and  igumen  (priors)  :  below  these 
are  the  monks.  The  white  clergy  are  divided  into  protopopes 
or  protierei  (parish  priests  of  the  largest  churches,  or  of  churhes 
with  others  under  them),  popes  or  priests,  and  deacons, 
lectors,  &c,  the  minor  rank  being  recruited  largely  from 
intending  students  who  could  not  pass  their  examination. 
The  priests  must  be  married  ;  if  a  priest  loses  his  wife  he  is 
not  permitted  to  marry  again.  The  parish  priests  are  poorly 
paid  and  their  lives  are  a  constant  struggle  against  poverty  ; 
but  they  have  ample  spare  time,  as  they  have  practically  no 
duties  beyond  the  holding  of  services,  and  visiting  their  flock 
is  entirely  at  their  own  discretion  :  so  they  can  devote  them- 
selves to  agriculture.  In  the  remoter  parts  of  the  north-east 
the  priests  are  known  to  act  as  commercial  agents,  and  are 
sometimes  at  once  the  purveyors  and  the  victims  of  drink. 
The  village  priest  lives  in  a  house  built  for  him  by  the  peasants 
and  draws  his  scanty  income  from  diocesan  funds  :  there 
are  no  tithes,  and  the  bulk  of  Church  property  was  absorbed 
by  Catherine  the  Great,  though  Nicholas  I  restored  to  the 
Church  what  had  remained  in  the  hands  of  the  Crown. 


Church  Government 

There  are  66  dioceses  (yeparchia)  in  Russia.     The  following 
are  wholly  in  Asia  :    Tobolsk,  Omsk,  Tomsk,  Krasnoyarsk, 
Irkutsk,  Chita,  Yakutsk,  Blagovyeshchensk,  Vladivostok,  and  I 
Turkestan  (of  which  the  see  is  Vyerni)  ;    the  following  are  I 
partially  so  :  Yekaterinburg  and  Orenburg.    They  correspond  I 
as  a  rule  with  the  divisions  into  governments.     They  are  1 
divided  into  rural  deaneries,  which  consist  each  of  from  10  to  1 
30  parishes,  many  of  which,  especially  in  Siberia,  are  very! 
extensive  and  have  scattered  populations  of  several  thousands. 
The  parish  church  is  usually  under  a  prikhod  (corporation) 
consisting   of  priest,   deacon,  two  diechoks   (bell-ringer  and  1 
reader),  and  a  widow  who  prepares  the  sacramental  bread. 
A  parochial  council  determines  the  sum  due  from  each  house- 
holder for  the  upkeep  of  the  Church.    The  number  of  parishes 
in  Siberia  is  being  increased  ;    arrangements  were  made  for 
101  new  parishes  to  be  supplied  with  priests  in  1911. 

Distinguishing  Features  of  the  Orthodox  Religion 

A  few  distinguishing  points  in  the  orthodox  church  may 
be  noted.  The  Council  of  Nicaea  in  787  is  the  last  ecumenical 
council  that  they  recognize  ;  they  do  not  admit  the  papal 
supremacy;  they  have  the  Scriptures  in  the  vernacular, 
though  it  is  not  modern  Russian,  but  old  Slavonic,  that  is  the 
language  of  religion  and  religious  services,  apart  from  the 
sermons,  which  are  in  Russian  (the  Slavonic  language  is 
taught  in  schools) ;  they  do  not  believe  in  the  procession  of 
the  Holy  Ghost  from  the  Son  as  well  as  the  Father,  and  omit 
the  filioque  clause  from  the  Nicene  Creed. 

Most  Russian  churches  are  rectangular  buildings  with  five 
domes,  the  largest  being  in  the  middle.  The  principal 
entrance  is  at  the  west,  where  there  is  usually  a  detached 
campanile.  The  church  is  divided  by  an  ambo  (or  ikonostas) 
into  nave  and  sanctuary.  In  the  former  stand  the  worshippers, 
there  being  no  seats  or  benches.  On  the  ikonostas  are  sacred 
pictures  or  ikons,  in  front  of  which  lamps  are  burning.  Pictures 


are  allowed,  and  even  bas-relief,  but  statues  are  forbidden. 
Opposite  the  central  door  through  the  ikonostas,  which  can 
be  used  by  the  priest  alone,  is  the  altar  (prestol),  on  which  is 
laid  a  New  Testament  and  the  host.  It  is  forbidden  to  pass 
in  front  of  the  altar.  During  the  services  no  instrumental 
music  is  allowed,  but  the  beautiful  hymns  of  the  Eastern 
Church  are  usually  sung  in  three  parts  by  men  and  boys. 
The  congregation  constantly  join  in  the  appeal  Gospodi 
Pomilui  (Lord  have  mercy  upon  us).  The  communion  is 
administered  in  both  kinds  to  the  laity,  but  the  bread  and 
wine  are  mixed  together  in  a  spoon.  Children  are  given  water 
and  wine  alone  till  they  are  seven  and  can  go  to  confession. 
Mass  is  only  celebrated  once  a  day.  Attendance  at  least  once 
a  year  is  enforced  by  law.  Baptism  is  by  immersion  and 
anointing  with  chrism  immediately  after  takes  the  place  of 
confirmation.  There  are  many  fasts  besides  the  regular  fasts 
of  Wednesdays  and  Fridays  throughout  the  year.  The  chief 
ones  are  (1)  Lent,  (2)  St.  Peter's  fast,  from  Whit-Monday  to 
June  29,  (3)  the  fast  of  the  Virgin  Mary,  from  August  1  to 
August  15,  (4)  St.  Philip's  fast,  from  November  15  to  December 
26.  Besides  this  the  monastic  clergy  always  fast  from  meat. 
Festivals  have  a  demoralizing  effect ;  much  of  the  vodka- 
drinking  is  especially  connected  with  them  ;  till  1907  it  was 
a  crime  punishable  by  law  to  work  on  a  holiday. 

Raskolniki  (Dissenters) 

The  differences  between  Popovists  and  Bezpopovists.  have 
been  described  under  the  account  of  colonization  (see  p.  190). 
The  former  made  advances  towards  reconciliation  in  1862, 
on  the  basis  of  accepting  orthodox  priests,  but  retaining  the 
unre vised  books.  This  led  to  further  division.  There  were 
now  (1)  those  who  recognized  the  metropolitan  and  this  com- 
promise, (2)  those  who  recognized  the  first  but  not  the  second, 
(3)  those  who  recognized  neither.  There  are  some  offshoots 
of  the  Bezpopovists  :  (1)  the  Philippovsti,  followers  of  one 
Philip  who  burnt  himself  in  1743  :  these  exalt  self-immolation 
into  a  principle  ;   (2)  the  Stranniki  (pilgrims)  ;   (3)  the  Byeguni 


(runners)  :  both  these  reject  legal  marriage  ;  (4)  the  Nyetovsti 
(deniers)  deny  the  necessity  for  common  worship  ;  (5)  the 
Molchalyniki  (mutes)  will  not  utter  a  syllable  under  torture. 
Besides  these  there  are  (1)  the  Khlusti (flagellants),  who  subdue 
the  flesh,  but  indulge  in  ecstatic  forms  of  worship  :  they  are' 
a  secret  society  and  are  nominally  members  of  the  Orthodox 
Church.  They  were  founded  in  1645.  (2)  The  Doukhobors, 
*  spiritual  fighters,'  who  hold  conscientious  objections  against 
military  service,  and  were  therefore  made  to  live  in  Trans- 
Caucasia.  When  service  became  compulsory  there  they  wvnt 
to  a  home  found  for  them  by  the  Society  of  Friends  in  Canada, 
where  they  have  lived  honest  and  industrious  lives.  (3)  The 
Molokani  (milk-drinkers),  founded  in  1765.  The  name  is 
given  them  because  they  drink  milk  during  fasts,  but  their 
tenets  resemble  those  of  the  Quakers.  (4)  The  Skoptsi 
(eunuchs),  who  advocate  castration  for  the  '  kingdom  of 
Heaven's  sake  '.  The  more  moderate  of  them  allow  absolute 
chastity  to  take  the  place  of  self -mutilation.  These  last  two 
sects  are  the  most  prominent  in  Siberia,  the  former  being 
found  along  the  Amur,  the  latter  in  the  Yakutsk  Province. 

Other  forms  of  belief 

Of  other  creeds  there  are  in  all  Russia  about  12,000,000 
Roman  Catholics  and  7,000,000  Protestants  (including 
Finland),  5,000,000  Jews,  14,000,000  Mohammedans,  and 
500,000  Buddhists.  There  are  Lutheran  and  Roman  Catholic 
churches  in  Omsk,  Tomsk,  Krasnoyarsk,  and  Irkutsk.  Jews 
are  found  in  great  numbers  at  Kainsk,  Buddhists  among  the 
Buryats  in  Transbaikal,  and  Mohammedans  not  only  among 
the  Tartar  tribes,  but  also  to  a  considerable  extent  among  the 
Cossacks  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Petropavlovsk. 


From  end  to  end  of  Siberia,  despite  the  ban  of  the  Russian 
authorities,  the  primitive  religion  of  northern  Asia  survives 
and  exercises  the  strongest  influence  upon  the  inhabitants. 
Converts  to  Christianity  and  Buddhism  still  resort  to  it,  and 


It  even  affects  Russian  officials  and  peasants  who  come  to 
the  country,  and  has  among  its  adherents  many  of  the  half- 
breeds  who  have  grown  up  in  the  land.  It  has  the  character 
of  a  primitive  religion,  and  is  probably  much  older  than 
Buddhism.  It  may  have  been  the  earlier  religion  of  the 
Mongolian  people,  south  of  Siberia.  It  has  more  magic  than 
theology  about  it,  and  its  doctrinal  core  is  not  very  great ; 
it  is  in  its  forms  and  outward  manifestations  that  it  is  really 
important.  It  is  always  difficult  to  acquire  exact  information 
from  the  Shamans  themselves,  who  are  in  fear  of  the  Russian 
authorities  ;  and  the  ritual  of  Shamanism  attaches  itself 
readily  to  the  different  racial  religions  and  mythologies. 

Religious  doctrines  of  Shamanism. — It  is  therefore  extremely 
hazardous  to  venture  on  a  general  description  of  the  religious 
beliefs  that  underlie  Shamanistic  forms,  but  perhaps  it  may 
|i  be  summarized  as  follows.  The  universe  consists  of  a  number 
of  layers  or  strata,  separated  by  a  kind  of  intermediate  space 
or  matter  ;  there  are  seven  upper  layers,  which  constitute 
the  kingdom  of  light,  while  below  the  earth  are  seven  or  more 
nether  layers,  which  form  the  kingdom  of  darkness.  Between 
these  lies  the  earth,  subject  to  influences  from  above  and 
below  :  above  are  the  good  spirits  {aiy),  below  are  the  evil 
spirits  (abassy).  In  the  seventh  layer  above,  in  high  heaven, 
reigns  Ai  Toion,  perfect  and  good  ;  in  the  fifth  (or  the  ninth) 
below  is  Erlik  Khan,  the  Ahriman  of  this  dualistic  system. 
Shamans  alone  possess  power  over  this  spiritual  world,  and 
this  power  is  exercised  more  over  the  bad  than  the  good,  not 
necessarily  for  evil  ends,  but  because  the  good  spirits  need  less 
propitiation  and  are  naturally  inclined  not  to  do  mischief. 
In  accordance  with  the  nature  of  the  spirits  over  whom 
they  exercise  influence  Shamans  are  known  respectively  as 
white  and  black.  In  fact  the  whole  faith  has  been  known  as 
'  black  faith  '  in  opposition  to  '  yellow  faith',  i.e.  Buddhism. 
These  spirits  are  largely  the  spirits  of  ancestors,  and  so 
Shamanism  is  closely  associated  with  what  constitutes  so 
large  a  proportion  of  primitive  cults,  viz.,  ancestor-worship. 
Shamans  among  the  Yakuts  (the  tribe  among  whom  this  cult 


is  most  fully  developed)  have  three  spirits,  amcigyat,  which  is 
indispensable  (the  same  name  is  applied  to  the  iron  breast- 
circle  of  the  Shaman,  which  he  wears  as  a  symbol  of  his  office), 
yekyua,  which  is  hidden  away  but  incarnates  itself  at  times 
in  animals,  and  kaliany,  impish  and  mischievous,  a  sort  of 
secondary  personality. 

Derivation  of  name. — The  word  shaman  is  uncertain  in 
derivation.  There  is  a  Sanskrit  word  iramana  (  =  religious 
mendicant),  the  Pali  form  of  which,  sramana,  has  the  same 
meaning.  On  the  other  hand  there  is  a  Manchu  word 
saman  which  means  '  one  who  is  excited '  and  this  word  is 
found  among  the  Tungus. 

Differences  between  Palaeo- Siberian  and  Neo- Siberian 
Shamanism. — There  is  a  considerable  difference  between 
Shamanism  as  practised  among  the  Palaeo-Siberian  tribes 
(Chukchee,  Koryaks,  &c.)  and  among  the  Neo-Siberians 
(Yakuts,  Tungus,  &c),  though  the  influence  of  the  Tungus, 
widely  spread  among  other  tribes,  has  greatly  modified  the 
Shamanism  of  north-eastern  Siberia.  With  the  Palaeo- 
Siberians  '  family '  shamanism  is  more  frequent  than  '  pro- 
fessional'. The  head  of  the  house  will  shamanize,  and  in  the 
absence  of  the  father  (e.  g.  among  the  Chukchee)  the  mother 
will  take  his  place  as  family  shaman.  There  is  also  found 
a  kind  of  communal  shamanism.  Among  them  also  women 
are  more  important  than  men  as  shamans  ;  women  being  of 
a  more  nervous  and  excitable  temperament  are  more  natural 
recipients  of  the  shamanistic  gifts  ;  it  may  be  noted  that 
women  are  the  most  frequent  victims  of  Arctic  hysteria 
(menerik).  On  the  other  hand  the  Yakuts  assign  an  inferior 
position  to  women,  and  will  only  resort  to  them  as  shamans 
in  the  absence  of  men.  Further,  among  certain  Palaeo- 
Siberians  (Koryak,  Kamchadal,  Chukchee,  and  Asiatic 
Eskimo)  appears  that  extraordinary  phenomenon,  the  sup- 
posed change  of  sex,  by  which  men  come  to  behave  as  wo: 
and  women  as  men.  The  change  goes  through  various  stag 
the  person  who  undergoes  the  transformation  will  first  ma: 
fest  the  change  by  arranging  his  hair  as  a  female  ;    then  he 


SHAMANISM  .       223 

will  adopt  woman's  dress  ;  then  he  will  change  his  voice 
and  his  general  habits,  performing  the  occupations  of  a  woman 
in  the  house  ;  finally  he  will  seek  a  '  husband  '  and  live  with 
him  in  homo -sexual  relations,  while  at  the  same  time  often 
having  a  female  concubine  and  begetting  children.  Public 
opinion  disapproves  of  this  homo -sexuality,  but  is  discreet 
in  its  utterances  on  the  subject,  as  such  transformed  shamans 
are  held  to  be  particularly  dangerous.  The  '  soft-man  '  has 
his  kele  (spirit)  husband,  who  will  protect  him  :  in  fact  even 
without  sex -transformation  a  shaman  often  has  a  kele  wife, 
as  well  as  his  own.  The  '  husband '  chosen  by  the  shaman 
is  usually  selected  from  among  his  near  relations.  Women 
are  transformed  to  men  in  the  same  way,  with  the  correspond- 
ing change  of  dress,  voice,  and  occupation,  and  the  adoption 
of  a  '  wife  '.  The  Koekchuks  of  the  Kamchadals  have  been 
especially  described  in  their  place.  Another  distinction 
between  the  Palaeo-  and  the  Neo-Siberians  is  that  among  the 
latter  the  dualism  of  good  and  evil  spirits  with  their  attendant 
black  and  white  shamans  is  much  more  emphasized.  The 
'  white '  shamans  take  part  in  spring  festivals,  marriage 
ceremonies,  fertilization  rites,  and  the  curing  of  diseases 
among  the  Yakuts  :  the  '  black '  shamans  deal  with  evil  spirits, 
but  are  not  necessarily  malefic  :  they  shamanize  to  assert 
their  prestige  ;  they  foretell  the  future  ;  they  call  up  spirits 
and  wander  into  spirit-land.  The  Buryats  speak  of  great 
'  contests  '  between  black  and  white  shamans,  who  '  hurl  axes 
at  one  another  at  a  distance  of  hundreds  of  miles ' .  The  black 
shaman  is  not  a  popular  person,  and  is  sometimes  killed  by 
the  inhabitants.  The  grave  of  a  black  shaman  among  them 
is  guarded  by  an  aspen,  and  the  body  is  fastened  to  the  earth 
by  a  stake  taken  from  this  tree.  Among  the  Samoyedes 
there  is  no  distinction  between  black  and  white  shamans. 
It  will  be  seen  later  that  there  are  marked  differences  in  the 
actual  performances  of  the  Palaeo-  and  Neo-Siberians. 

The  'call'. — Shamanism  is  sometimes  hereditary.  This  is 
what  would  be  expected  both  from  the  recurrence  of  medium - 
istic  gifts  in  families  and  from  the  greater  ease  of  keeping 


secrets  known  to  members  of  the  family  alone.  A  shaman 
is  often  subject  to  hysteria,  but  can  control  himself  between 
the  fits.  Before  entering  on  his  vocation  a  shaman  has  often 
had  severe  nervous  affections.  The  '  call '  comes  in  various 
ways.  We  hear  of  a  Gilyak  boy  of  twelve,  who  had  his  call 
during  a  deep  sleep,  and  when  awakened  threw  himself  about 
and  spoke  with  different  intonations.  To  the  Tungus  a  former 
shaman  appears  in  a  dream.  An  Ostyak  will  sell  to  another 
the  spiritual  gifts  that  have  come  to  him.  Among  tribes  in 
the  Altai  the  call  is  involuntary.  Among  the  Chukchee  there 
is  great  fear  of  the  '  call '  :  the  Chukchee  youth  is  afraid 
that  it  will  come  to  him  ;  when  it  has  come,  he  segregates 
himself  and  is  abstracted  in  manner,  he  sleeps  much,  and  is 
carefully  guarded  lest  he  should  freeze  to  death  during  sleep. 
The  Buryat  child  is  supposed  to  be  called  at  a  very  tender 
age :  its  soul  then,  it  is  imagined,  goes  away  to  be  trained 
among  the  '  West  Tengeris  '  if  he  is  to  be  a  white  shaman, 
among  the  '  East  Tengeris  '  if  he  is  to  be  a  black  shaman. 
When  he  reaches  adolescence,  certain  symptoms  begin  to  be 
revealed.  Among  the  Samoyedes  the  novice,  at  about  the 
age  of  15,  is  entrusted  to  an  old  shaman. 

Novitiate  and  training. — A  '  call '  to  a  shaman  means  that 
he  has  come  under  the  protection  of  one  or  more  spirits  : 
his  eyes  have  a  distinctive  appearance  :  the  expression  is 
said  to  be  a  combination  of  shyness  and  cunning,  and  it  is 
alleged  that  the  shaman  can  often  be  picked  out  from  other 
men  because  he  has  this  look.  Long  periods  of  preparation 
follow ;  the  training  includes  lessons  in  singing,  dancing, 
drum-beating,  ventriloquism,  and  other  tricks,  and  the  power 
of  concealing  fatigue  ;  and  stages  of  consecration,  which 
differ  among  the  various  tribes.  The  novice  is  conscious 
of  the  solemnity  of  his  profession,  and  usually  has  a  strong 
feeling  that  he  has  to  consecrate  his  gifts  for  the  good  of  his 
fellow  men  :  he  is  told  not  to  demand  high  prices  from  either 
rich  or  poor,  and,  if  he  is  asked  to  attend  to  a  rich  and  a  poor 
man,  to  attend  to  the  latter  first.  Considerable  danger  is 
felt  to  be  attached  to  the  profession,  as  '  the  spirits  will  kill 


a  shaman  who  in  any  way  disobeys  them  '  ;  but  there  are 
compensations,  for  he  is  usually  safer  than  anybody  else  from 
the  anger  of  his  fellow  men,  on  account  of  the  sacrosanct 
character  of  his  calling.  But  no  persecution  will  make  him 
give  up  his  shamanism  :  a  shaman,  whom  Stadling  met,  who 
a  Christian  nominally,  used  to  confess  once  a  year  to  the 
3st  (and  present  him  with  a  blue  fox  skin).  It  is  worthy  of 
tote  that  the  tribe  which  has  probably  developed  shamanism 
more  than  any  other  is  the  Yakuts,  who  have  been  nominalty 
Christians  for  upwards  of  200  years. 

Classes  of  Shaman. — Shamans  are  of  various  kinds.  Among 
the  Chukchee  there  are  three  kinds  of  professional  shamans  : 
the  first  practise  ecstatic  ravings,  the  second  foretell  the 
future  as  prophets,  the  third  utter  incantations  ;  these  last 
again  are  subdivided  into  good  and  bad,  and  are  distinguished 
by  their  red  and  black  coats  respectively.  With  the  Yakuts 
they  are  divided  into  Great,  Middle  and  Little  Shamans  in 
accordance  with  the  degree  of  their  powers  ;  the  first  has  his 
dmdgyat  from  Ai  Toion  himself  ;  the  second  has  dmdgyat, 
but  it  is  not  of  so  powerful  a  kind  ;  the  third  has  nothing 
that  deserves  the  name  of  dmdgyat,  but  is  only  an  abnormal 
neurotic  person,  '  who  can  cure  trifling  illnesses,  interpret 
dreams,  or  frighten  small  devils  away '.  Originally  among  the 
Yakuts  there  was  more  of  woman-shamanism,  as  among  the 
Palaeo-Siberian  tribes.  The  Altaians,  besides  the  shaman 
(kam),  have  other  personages  of  a  similar  kind.     These  are 

(1)  rynchi,  who  foretell  the  future  during  attacks  of  pain  ; 

(2)  telegochi  (guessers) ;  (3)  yarinchi,  who  divine  by  the  use  of 
a  bladebone ;  (4)  kollkarechi,  palmists,  who  divine  from  the 
hand,  (5)  yadachi  who  control  the  weather  by  means  of  a  stone 
(yadatash)  found  in  a  defile,  where  winds  blow  continually  : 
to  obtain  this  stone  they  must  swear  away  all  that  they  have . 

Professional  dress  and  equipment. — The  shaman  has  a  pro- 
fessional dress  when  engaged  on  his  occupation.  Among  the 
Neo-Siberians  the  four  most  general  features  are  the  coat, 
the  mask,  the  cap,  and  the  iron  plate  about  the  breast.  The 
costume   is    less    complicated    among   the    Palaeo -Siberians, 


The  Chukchee  for  instance  have  no  special  dress  :  they 
merely  desire  originality,  and  will  wear  any  coat  that  they 
think  will  impress.  Sometimes  the  Chukchee  have  adopted 
Tungus  designs  on  the  coat  without  knowing  their  meaning. 
The  coat  is  most  elaborate  among  the  Neo-Siberians.  Attached 
to  it  are  pieces  of  metal  each  with  a  name  and  meaning  of  its 
own.  Among  the  Altaians  not  all  shamans  are  entitled  to 
wear  the  coat  and  the  cap.  The  mask  is  of  skin,  wood,  and 
metal,  painted  and  ornamented  with  a  great  beard.  The  iron 
plate  {amagyat)  is  handed  down  from  shaman  to  shaman. 
The  pieces  of  metal  are  supposed  to  have  a  soul  and  to  be 
capable  of  resisting  rust.  Among  the  Yakuts  there  are  here- 
ditary blacksmiths  who  are  associated  with  the  shamans,  and 
manufacture  their  properties.  The  most  characteristic  em- 
blem of  shamanism  is  the  drum.  A  special  meaning  is  attached 
to  it  by  the  Yukaghir  :  they  call  it  yalkil  (gulf),  as  the  gulf 
into  which  the  shaman  dives  to  reach  the  spirits.  So  too  the 
Eskimo  think  that  the  souls  of  the  shamans  descend  into  the 
lower  world  of  the  goddess  Sedna.  Some  of  the  north-eastern 
tribes  (e.g. Koryaks)  strike  the  drum  from  below.  The  word 
for  '  drum '  is  everywhere  the  same  (tungur),  whereas  the 
coat  has  various  names,  which  suggests  that  it  is  later.  The 
drum  is  rare  among  the  Buryats,  who  have  one  special 
accessory,  viz.,  the  horse -staves  :  of  these  two  are  of  wood, 
two  of  iron,  but  the  latter  are  only  bestowed  on  a  shaman 
after  his  fifth  consecration.  The  wooden  ones  are  cut  for 
the  novice.  These  horse-staves  represent  the  horses  on 
which  the  shaman  takes  his  flight  to  the  upper  and  lower 
worlds.  There  is  also  a  shire,  a  box  which  contains  the 
sacred  emblems  (horse -staves,  &c),  which  the  shaman  ac- 
quires the  right  of  holding  after  his  fifth  consecration.  Th< 
sun,  moon,  and  secondary  deities  are  represented  on  i 
The  Buryats  also  have  a  musical  instrument  used  only  b 
shamans,  a  sort  of  Jew's  harp  called  homus. 

Shamanistic   rites. — The   nature   of   the    shamanistic   per 
formances  can  be  best  realized  by  describing  two  :    the  first 
is  as  it  would  be 'given  among  the  Chukchee,  the  second  as 


among  the  Yakuts.  The  first  is  given  when  it  is  almost 
dark  :  the  shaman  begins  to  beat  the  drum  softly  and  to  sing 
plaintively  :  the  song  imitates  the  cries  of  animals,  which 
seem  to  proceed  from  various  corners  of  the  house.  Then 
suddenly  the  song  ceases  :    when  it  is  over,  the  shaman  is 

Iound  lying  exhausted.  Sometimes  the  shaman  uses  a 
ueratic  language,  a  mixture  of  Yakut,  Yukaghir,  and  Koryak 
yords  :  shamans  cannot  remember  what  they  recite  in  their 
emi-hypnotic  state,  and  genuinely  do  not  understand  the 
language  they  use.  A  variety  of  conjuring  tricks  are  per- 

Among  the  Yakuts  the  performance  appeals  to  rather 
higher  emotions.  The  shaman  kneels  on  a  white  mare's  skin, 
bows  to  the  four  corners  of  the  earth,  and  sprinkles  the  ground 
with  water  from  his  mouth.  After  other  rites,  the  shaman 
begins  to  play  his  drum,  and  utters  wild  cries  imitating 
animals.  Then  he  chants  an  incantation,  the  spirits  come, 
the  shaman  falls,  leaps,  and  dances  ;  members  of  his  '  con- 
gregation '  hold  him  by  leather  thongs,  lest  the  spirits  should 
make  away  with  him.  In  the  south  Yakut  district  he  is  un- 
fettered. After  these  movements  he  approaches  his  patient, 
drives  away  the  cause  of  the  illness,  and  prescribes  what 
sacrifices  must  be  made  to  the  powerful  spirits  whose  servant 
he  has  banished.  His  prophetic  gifts  do  not  leave  him  at 
once,  but  he  foretells  future  events.  He  goes  a  mystic  and 
symbolic  journey  through  the  strata  of  the  universe  announcing 
the  various  points  in  his  travel  that  he  has  reached. 

Despite  the  trickery  there  is  evidence  of  considerable 
mediumistic  powers  ;  there  is  use  of  auto-suggestion  in  the 
trances  and  probably  a  skilful  handling  of  hypnosis. 

One  of  the  earliest  accounts  of  shamanism  was  published 
in  China  in  1747,  written  in  the  Manchu  language.  For  the 
subject  generally,  see  M.  A.  Czaplicka,  Aboriginal  Siberia,  from 
which  the  above  examples  are  taken. 

P  2 


Climatic  complaints — Zymotic  diseases — Nervous  diseases — Want 
of  sanitation 

Climatic  Complaints 

There  is  no  reason  for  regarding  the  climate  of  Siberia, 
despite  its  rigours,  as  unhealthy,  unless  the  nervous  com- 
plaints mentioned  later  have  any  connexion  with  the  winter 
darkness  and  cold.  Settlers  in  Siberia,  including  exiles,  suffer 
no  ill  effects  from  the  climate,  whether  in  the  far  north  or  in 
the  agricultural  regions  of  the  south.  The  great  cold  of  winter, 
it  is  true,  is  liable  to  cause  frost-bite,  but  with  adequate  shelter 
and  sufficient  nourishment,  the  risk  of  this  proving  serious  is 
small  since  strong  winds  are  rare  in  winter,  and  in  their  absence 
great  cold  is  quite  endurable  with  safety.  Snow-blindness  is 
not  uncommon  in  spring  and  autumn,  but  the  lack  of  winter 
snow  in  many  parts,  the  darkness  of  the  northern  winter,  and 
the  general  prevalence  of  green  trees  to  relieve  the  eyes 
minimize  the  occurrence  of  this  trouble. 

Zymotic  Diseases 

Apart  from  climatic  influences,  however,  there  is  much 
disease  among  most  native  tribes  in  Siberia.  Measles  is 
common,  especially  among  the  Koryaks  and  Yukaghir,  and 
has  devastated  whole  villages.  Smallpox  is  endemic  in  many 
parts  :  it  is  said  to  have  caused  a  steady  reduction  in  the 
numbers  of  the  Yukaghir  and  Tungus.  Tuberculous  disease 
is  prevalent,  though  seldom  diagnosed  on  account  of  the 
absence  of  medical  officers  in  most  parts  :  it  was  very  probably 
introduced  by  Russians.  Siberian  boil  plague,  a  form  of 
anthrax  which  also  attacks  cattle,  is  found  from  the  Urals  to 


the  Chinese  frontier,  especially  in  summer.  It  occurs  in  both 
external  and  internal  forms.  The  latter  is  generally  fatal  hi 
one  to  four  days.  Goitre  is  reported  principally  from  the 
Lena  valley,  where  it  is  most  prevalent  among  women,  and 
from  the  Amur  region.  Syphilis  is  rampant  throughout 
Siberia.  Ophthalmia  and  other  diseases  of  the  eye  are  very 
common  :  some  are  due  to  snow-blindness,  as  noted  above, 
others  to  venereal  disease,  and  others  to  the  smoky  nature  of 
the  interior  of  all  native  huts.  Leprosy  occurs  in  the  Lena, 
Kolima,  and  Amur  regions,  Sakhalin,  and  elsewhere.  It  is 
generally  associated  by  the  Gilyaks  with  eating  fish,  especially 
one  species  of  salmon.  Cholera  is  never  absent  from  the  Amur 
and  Maritime  Provinces,  and  every  few  years  assumes  the 
proportions  of  an  epidemic.  In  1910  a  violent  epidemic  of 
cholera  raged  in  Vladivostok,  Khabarovsk,  Blagovyesch- 
chensk,  and  Nikolaevsk  :  most  of  the  victims  were  Chinese 
and  Koreans.  In  the  same  year  an  epidemic  of  plague  intro- 
duced from  Manchuria  into  the  Amur  region  was  successfully 
fought  by  the  use  of  injections.  The  last  epidemic  of  typhoid 
in  the  same  region  was  in  1908.  Thus  the  Amur  and  Maritime 
Provinces  seem  to  be  the  least  healthy  parts  of  Siberia  owing 
to  their  proximity  to  any  diseases  rampant  in  China,  Korea, 
and  Japan. 

Nervous  Diseases 

Certain  peculiar  forms  of  nervous  affection  are  common 
among  the  natives  of  Siberia,  and  are  known  collectively  under 
the  name  of  Arctic  hysteria,  because,  as  far  as  Siberia  is  con- 
cerned, they  are  confined  to  the  polar  and  subpolar  regions. 
They  are,  however,  closely  akin  to  nervous  affections  of  the 
natives  of  Java,  Abyssinia,  South  Africa,  Madagascar,  Brazil, 
Peru,  and  elsewhere,  and  particularly  the  Malays,  and  so, 
properly  speaking,  are  not  peculiar  to  Arctic  lands,  although 
they  are  probably  accentuated  by  the  darkness,  and  are 
certainly  most  prevalent  during  winter.  Hardships  increase 
the  occurrence  of  hysteria  :  in  times  of  famine  whole  villages 
may  suffer  from  it,    It  is  noticeable  also  that  sedentary  people 


suffer  far  more  than  nomadic  people,  who  are  better  inured  to 

Arctic  hysteria  is  most  prevalent  among  Neo-Siberians,"but 
is  found  also  in  certain  forms  among  Palaeo-Siberians.  Euro- 
pean exiles  from  Russia  to  Arctic  Siberia  seldom  suffer  from  it. 

Many  forms  of  nervous  disease  are  included  under  this 
head,  quite  apart  from  the  hysterical  manifestations  of  the 
shamans,  which  are  looked  upon  by  the  natives  as  an  in- 
spiration, but  are  not  impossibly  connected  in  origin  with 
Arctic  hysteria  (see  Chapter  VII).  A  common  form  is  ex- 
pressed in  timidity  and  fright,  with  an  inclination  to  repeat  all 
visual  and  auditory  impressions.  Another  type  is  brought  on 
by  sudden  shock  or  pain,  but  it  is  sometimes  periodic  and 
recurs  without  apparent  direct  cause.  The  patient  is  afflicted 
with  spasms  or  falls  into  a  trance,  howls  or  dances,  and  the  fits 
are  often  followed  by  extreme  exhaustion  or  prolonged  sleep  for 
several  days.  In  some  symptoms  this  form  closely  resembles 
epilepsy.  It  is  sometimes  accompanied  by  manifestations 
of  erotic  mania,  and  by  Yakuts,  Yukaghir,  and  others  is 
ascribed  to  the  influence  of  evil  spirits,  but  looked  upon  as 
a  disease.  All  these  forms  seem  to  be  commonest  among 
people  who  have  recently  moved  into  Arctic  regions.  Melan- 
cholia and  so-called  voluntary  death  are  other  forms  of 
hysteria.  Melancholia  occurs  chiefly  among  people  domiciled 
in  Arctic  Siberia,  and  is  not  uncommon  among  the  inhabitants 
of  other  far  northern  lands.  Voluntary  death  is  also  common 
among  the  tribes  of  northern  Siberia.  Old  or  infirm  people 
request  their  relatives  to  put  them  to  death  :  this,  however, 
may  be  the  outcome  of  a  desire  to  escape  suffering,  and  it  is 
doubtful  if  it  can  be  looked  on  as  a  form  of  hysteria. 

Want  of  Sanitation 

The  difficulties  of  combating  disease  throughout  Siberia  are 
very  great.  Most  of  the  natives  are  dirty  and  devoid  of  the 
most  primitive  ideas  on  sanitation.  Owing  to  the  vastness  of 
the  land  over  which  they  roam,  no  adequate  medical  super- 
vision is  possible.    At  the  same  time  it  must  be  remembered 


that  the  state  of  health  of  the  majority  of  the  tribes  in  Siberia 
has  little  influence  on  the  Russian  settlers  who,  by  the  nature 
of  the  land,  are  more  or  less  confined  to  certain  regions,  where 
measures  of  preventive  medicine,  even  if  difficult,  are  not 
impossible.  The  state  of  the  Siberian  towns  (see  p.  313)  leaves 
much  room  for  improvement  in  matters  of  sanitation  and 


Western  Siberia — Eastern  Siberia 

Western   Siberia 

The  peasant  population  of  western  Siberia  constitutes  about 
ninety  per  cent,  of  the  whole,  and  it  is  nearly  all  engaged, 
directly  or  indirectly,  in  agriculture.  The  agricultural  dis- 
tricts of  western  Siberia  are  the  Government  of  Tobolsk, 
excluding  the  districts  of  Berezov  and  Surgut,  and  the 
Government  of  Tomsk,  excluding  the  district  of  Narim,  but  in 
the  steppes  agriculture  is  only  practised  successfully  in  parts 
of  the  districts  of  Kokchetav,  Atbasar,  and  Petropavlovsk  in 
the  Akmolinsk  territory,  and  in  the  Semipalatinsk,  Pavlodar 
and  Zaisan  districts  of  the  Semipalatinsk  territory.  In  1911 
over  10,800,000  acres  were  sown  in  Tobolsk  and  Tomsk, 
i.  e.  36  per  cent,  of  the  whole  sown  area  of  Asiatic  Russia. 
In  the  steppes  over  5,400,000  acres  were  sown. 

Cereals,  root  crops,  and  fodder 

Three  zones  of  agricultural  land. — (1)  North  of  lat.  58°  N. 
there  is  a  region  in  which  agriculture  is  only  sporadic.  It 
consists  largely  of  urmans  (swamps),  which  are  quite  un- 
suited  to  tillage  ;  the  arable  lands  are  either  the  more  elevated 
parts  of  the  river  valleys,  which  are  not  submerged,  the  uvals 
(inclined  banks),  or  level  ground  surrounded  by  yars  (abrupt 
precipices).  North  of  lat.  60°  N.  hardly  any  cereals  are 
grown ;  corn  is  planted  as  far  north  as  Berezov  (about  lat. 
64°  N.),  but  is  of  no  economic  importance  in  those  parts. 

(2)  Between  lat.  56°  N.  and  lat.  58°  N.  the  region  is  an 
almost  perfectly  flat  plain,  with  deciduous  trees  predominating 


over  conifers.  Swamps,  though  extensive,  occupy  less  of  the 
total  area :  there  are  plateaux  as  well  as  river  valleys  used 
for  agriculture.  Lands  suitable  for  cereals  are  often  spread 
over  great  tracts.  The  river  valleys  are  hardly  ploughed  at 
all  (except  for  the  uvals),  as  being  too  liable  to  inun- 

(3)  South  of  lat.  56°  N.  the  region  is  variegated  with  many 
small  lakes  divided  by  ridges  with  sloping  sides.  There  are 
islands  of  fertility  with  flat  spaces  between  that  are  entirely 
barren.  The  wild  cherry,  growing  on  unploughed  soil  is  a  sign 
of  its  fertility.  It  grows  on  the  west  Ishim  steppe,  but  not 
on  the  east  Ishim  and  Baraba  steppes.  Much  of  this  region 
is  particularly  adapted  for  wheat.  The  west  Ishim  steppe  is 
the  most  fertile  region  ;  the  Baraba  and  east  Ishim  steppes 
closely  resemble  one  another.  The  Baraba  steppe  has  great 
variations  in  itself  ;  it  is  least  fertile  in  *he  north,  where  it 
becomes  swamp,  most  fertile  in  the  south,  where  it  reaches  to 
the  foothills  of  the  Altai.  In  the  Kirghiz  steppes  few  cereals 
are  grown,  as  the  Kirghiz  eat  little  bread  of  any  sort,  but 
a  great  deal  of  meat. 

Soils. — In  the  river  valleys  there  prevail  very  sticky  clayey 
soils,  partly  grey,  slightly  tinged  with  humus,  partly  black. 
There  are  two  kinds  of  black  soil :  (1)  argillaceous  chernozem 
or  black  soil,  on  the  raised  ground,  the  most  fertile  of  all  the 
soils,  (2)  a  black  earth  which  is  poor  and  barren  and  of 
a  peaty  character,  only  adapted  for  oats.  In  the  middle 
region  especially  there  are  what  is  called  byeliks,  where  a  very 
thin  layer  of  turf  (2  or  3  inches  thick)  lies  over  a  stratum  of 
almost  unproductive  light-grey  clayey  soil  (9  or  10  inches 
thick),  superimposed  on  a  reddish-yellow  clay.  These  are 
only  of  use  with  manure,  and  have  to  lie  fallow  for  twenty-five 
years  after  three  or  four  crops,  as  only  the  top  layer  nourishes 
cereals.  In  the  south  region  the  predominating  soil  is  a  dark 
brown,  friable,  clayey  soil,  with  a  large  admixture  of  white 
sand  upon  a  reddish  clay  subsoil.  In  the  Baraba  steppe 
upon  the  broad  sloping  ridges  black  soil  is  everywhere,  and 
on  the  narrow  and  more  abrupt  ridges  a  clayey  soil.    The  soil 


along  the  railway  has  a  loamy  substratum  with  a  surface  of 
black  earth  (14  to  24  ins.)  which  is  entirely  stoneless. 

Crops  vary  in  accordance  with  varieties  of  soil.  Wheat 
grows  best  in  south-west  Tobolsk,  the  Kainsk  and  Mariinsk 
districts  of  Tomsk,  the  Altai  and  parts  of  Akmolinsk  territory 
where  there  is  a  sandy  black  soil ;  in  all  these  parts  it  is 
more  than  half  the  grain  sown  ;  barley  and  spring  rye  are 
adapted  to  the  brownish  soils  of  the  central  part  of  Tomsk, 
where  the  soil  is  infertile  ;  east  from  Tomsk  grows  winter 
rye,  and  oats  are  commonest  along  the  great  Siberian  road. 
In  the  northern  districts  winter  corn  occupies  the  chief  place. 
In  all  Asiatic  Russia  spring  corn  considerably  predominates 
over  winter  corn. 

Methods  of  cultivation. — In  the  agricultural  parts  of  Siberia 
it  is  usual  to  sow  the  land  for  two  or  three  years,  and  then 
for  a  year  to  leave  it  fallow  ;  after  this  to  sow  it  again  for 
one  or  two  years,  and  to  repeat  the  process  till  it  shows  that 
it  needs  a  rest.  Then,  when  certain  signs  known  to  the 
peasants  present  themselves,  it  is  reploughed.  During  the 
early  part  of  the  period  the  more  exhausting  grains  are  sown, 
such  as  wheat  and  rye  ;  towards  the  end  of  the  period,  barley 
and  oats.  In  the  region  of  Lake  Zaisan  there  is  intensive 
culture  by  irrigation  There  are  irrigating  canals  (arylcs)  from 
which  little  runlets  are  taken  all  over  the  fields.  The  water 
is  let  on  first  before  ploughing,  and  then,  according  to  the 
weather,  from  two  to  four  times  more,  while  the  plant  is 
growing.  After  eight  crops  the  field  requires  either  three 
years'  rest  or  manuring.  It  is  always  the  same  crop,  because 
during  the  harvesting  the  old  seed  would  drop  into  the  soil 
and  spoil  next  year's  crop. 

Agricultural  improvements. — Many  improvements  have  been 
made  in  the  system  of  agriculture  in  western  Siberia.  Ferti- 
lizers are  employed  to  a  greater  extent,  and  there  are  many 
mechanical  appliances  introduced.  A  large  amount  of  agri- 
cultural machinery  is  imported  to  meet  a  growing  demand. 
Large  wholesale  purchases  are  made,  especially  of  reapers, 
mowers,  and  rakes.      The  United  States,  with  a  widespread 


organization  in  the  villages,  have  an  almost  complete  mono- 
poly, except  for  ploughs,  which  have  hitherto  been  usually  of 
German  make.  Chelyabinsk,  Novo-Nikolaevsk,  and  Omsk  are 
the  chief  centres  of  distribution,  and  there  are  others  at 
Kurgan,  Petropavlovsk,  Pavlodar,  Semipalatinsk,  Tatarskaya, 
Karachi,  Kamen,  Barnaul,  and  Biisk.  At  a  station  on  the 
River  Irtish,  near  Omsk  and  also  at  Novo-Nikolaevsk,  ex- 
perimental work  is  being  carried  on  ;  arrangements  are  made 
under  the  Colonization  Department  for  testing  kinds  of  ma- 
chinery and  implements  introduced  into  Siberia.  Specimens 
of  suitable  machines  are  on  view  for  farmers  who  visit  the 
place.  The  value  of  sales  was  in  1910  £497,000  ;  in  1911 
£680,000  ;  in  1912  £840,000  ;  in  1913  £730,000.  The  pur- 
chaser usually  makes  the  first  half  of  his  payment  during  the 
first  year  and  the  rest  in  instalments.  Bad  debts  are  rare. 
There  are  many  agricultural  depots  scattered  through  the 
country,  organized  by  the  Government ;  but  the  private  store 
has  some  advantages  in  the  peasant's  eyes  over  the  Govern- 
ment depot ;  he  has  it  more  at  his  mercy,  for  it  gives  him  long 
credit,  and  he  can  keep  it  waiting  for  his  money,  whereas  he 
is  at  the  mercy  of  the  Government  depot  himself.  All  agri- 
cultural implements  enter  the  country  free  of  tax. 

Grain  elevators  are  being  erected  at  the  cost  of  the  Treasury, 
but  in  order  to  secure  them  more  speedily  the  Siberian  co- 
operative societies  are  undertaking  the  construction  of  ele- 
vators at  their  own  expense.  At  Aleksyeevsk  in  Omsk  district 
an  elevator  of  1,600  tons  capacity  has  been  completed  ;  it  is 
provided  with  all  the  necessary  grain-drying  and  cleaning 
appliances.  This  is  the  case,  too,  with  the  station  at  Mishkina. 
Eight  credit  societies  are  erecting  an  elevator  of  6,025  tons 
capacity  at  the  station  of  Kochenevo.  At  Omsk  and  at  Kula- 
chinskoe  in  the  Omsk  district  grain  stores  are  to  be  built.  A  large 
elevator  of  16,070  tons  capacity  is  projected  for  Novo-Niko- 

Agriculture  has  been  stimulated  along  the  line  of  the  great 
Siberian  road  owing  to  the  fact  that  this  was  formerly  the 
one  artery  of  commerce,  and  a  large  population  was  wanted 


for  the  work  of  transport  and  innkeeping.  But  the  road 
has  formidable  competitors  in  the  steamers  upon  the  rivers 
and  in  the  Siberian  Railway  ;  its  monopoly  has  gone,  and 
a  large  proportion  of  the  population  has  taken  to  agriculture. 

Milling. — Most  of  the  cereal  products  are  exported  from; 
Russia  in  the  form  of  grain,  and  so  milling  has  suffered.  But1 
the  Tomsk  Government  contains  a  fair  proportion  of  mills, 
among  which  wheat  mills  predominate  with  a  return  of 
£600,000.  Flour  mills  are  found  principally  in  the  districts 
of  Tomsk,  Biisk,  and  Barnaul,  and  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Novo-Nikolaevsk.    The  mills  are  well  set  up. 

Export  of  cereals. — Siberia  supplies  the  deficiencies  of 
European  Russia  in  bad  seasons,  so  as  to  enable  the  Russians 
to  export  the  reserves  which  would  otherwise  be  retained  for 
home  consumption.  Much  goes  to  the  non-agricultural  parts 
of  Siberia,  especially  the  mines.  Some  was  formerly  used  for 
vodka  and  other  spirits.  But  the  export  of  Siberian  cereals 
is  not  great  in  proportion  to  the  output  of  the  country,  and  in 
comparison  with  that  of  European  Russia  it  seems  negligible. 
The  cost  of  transport  is  very  heavy.  A  German  authority 
states  that  the  cost  of  transport  of  a  ton  of  wheat  from  Chelya- 
binsk to  the  mouth  of  the  Rhine  amounts  to  £2  16s.,  while  the 
carriage  of  the  same  quantity  from  India  costs  only  12s. 
There  is  still  a  large  amount  of  land  of  great  agricultural 
value  unsown,  and  there  are  considerable  openings  for  trade, 
especially  if  a  serious  effort  is  made  to  replace  the  German 
trade  in  ploughs. 

Hay. — In  1914  in  western  Siberia  12,892,918  acres  were 
under  hay,  with  an  output  of  7,358,100  tons  ;  in  the  steppes 
there  were  9,271,773  acres,  with  an  output  of  3,546,500  tons. 
Hay-cutting  is  done  near  the  big  towns  and  along  the  post 

Potatoes. — Potatoes  are  grown  further  north  than  the  limit 
within  which  cereals  are  profitable,  e.  g.  at  Samarovskoe, 
at  the  confluence  of  the  Ob  and  Irtish.  Other  crops  grown 
in  the  same  region  are  rape  and  cucumber. 

Fruit  is  of  little  importance.    Some  cherries  are  grown  at 


Kurgan  ;  in  Tyumen  there  are  a  few  small  fruit  gardens,  and 
apples  are  grown  at  Tomsk,  under  the  care  of  the  University. 
Melons  and  water-melons  are  grown  by  the  peasants  for  their 
own  consumption. 

Blax  and  hemp. — Flax  is  grown  almost  universally  ;  hemp 
cially  in  the  black  earth  districts.  These  are  grown  mainly 
for  the  seed,  whence  comes  an  edible  oil,  which  is  of  great 
importance  for  Russians  as  a  substitute  for  butter  on  fast 
days.  The  fibres  serve  especially  local  needs  for  ropes  and 
linen.  The  flax  is  good,  but  weak  :  the  peasants  cannot 
handle  it  properly,  and  it  has  but  small  international  value. 
In  the  Barnaul  district  the  hemp  is  of  low  quality  and  badly 
worked  up.  It  is  estimated  that  this  district  might  produce 
4,800  to  8,000  tons  of  hempseed  and  the  same  amount  of 
Unseed.  At  Omsk  there  is  a  steam  oil-seed  and  colour  mill, 
which  manufactures  various  oils  from  linseed,  hemp,  and 
sunflower  seeds,  to  the  extent  (in  1901)  of  645  tons,  and  colours 
to  the  extent  of  81  tons. 

Sunflower. — From  the  seeds  an  oil  is  extracted  and  used 
for  the  same  purposes  as  those  from  hempseed  and  linseed. 
It  is  grown  especially  in  the  Altai  and  at  places  along  the  Irtish. 
Tobacco. — Altogether  in  Siberia  in  1914  there  were  18,198 
plantations  of  tobacco,  with  an  area  of  1,984  acres.  They 
yielded  4  tons  of  Turkish  tobacco  and  1,570  tons  of  lower 
quality.  The  chief  tobacco-growing  districts  of  Siberia  are 
along  the  Irtish,  south  of  Omsk,  in  the  Cossack  settlements, 
where  about  160  tons  are  produced  a  year.  The  plantations 
are  all  small,  and  most  of  the  work  is  done  by  women.  About 
30  per  cent,  is  consumed  locally  ;  the  rest  goes  to  the  neigh- 
bouring fairs  and  to  Omsk,  where  there  is  a  tobacco  factory, 
doing  very  good  business,  chiefly  in  cigarettes  (£40,000  in 
1903).  The  common  Russian  tobacco  is  mahorka,  which 
is  grown  in  Omsk  and  Petropavlovsk  districts,  and  is  chiefly 
used  in  the  manufacture  of  cheap  cigars.  The  peasant  is 
showing  a  tendency  to  abandon  mahorka  in  favour  of  cheap 
cigarettes.    The  import  of  tobacco  goods  by  rail  is  increasing. 


Woodland  produce 

Cedar  cones. — The  Finns  cembra  produces  a  cone  which  is 
much  esteemed  for  the  oil  extracted  from  its  seeds.  It  is 
found  especially  in  the  Narim  district,  the  northern  parts  of 
Tomsk  and  Mariinsk  districts,  and  the  mountainous  parts  of 
Biisk  and  Kuznetsk  districts.  The  chief  market  is  Tomsk. 
In  a  good  year,  which  is  once  in  four  or  five,  4,800  to  6,400 
tons  are  gathered,  the  season  being  from  the  middle  of  August 
to  the  middle  of  September.  The  price  is  from  35.  to  5s.  per 
pud  ;  the  average  turnover  of  a  labourer  is  from  about  12s. 
to  £1  18s.  In  order  to  obtain  the  cone  the  trees  are  cut  down 
if  they  are  difficult  to  climb. 

Wild  fruit. — Great  masses  of  bilberries  and  cranberries  are 
exported  from  Turinsk,  Tar  a,  and  Tobolsk  districts.  Rock- 
cherry,  obtained  in  Tomsk  district,  is  dried  and  ground  to 
flour,  and  on  fast  days  is  boiled  with  honey  and  water  and 
eaten  as  a  kind  of  jam.  The  nut  trade  is  especially  developed 
in  the  Surgut,  Tara,  and  Tobolsk  districts  of  Tobolsk  and  the 
Narim  and  Mariinsk  districts  of  Tomsk.  In  the  Kuznetsk  and 
Biisk  districts  the  nomads  do  the  nutting. 

Mushrooms  are  put  on  the  market,  dried  and  salted. 

Easteen  Siberia 
Cereals,  root  crops,  and  fodder 

In  spite  of  the  climate  agriculture  is  making  rapid  progress 
in  eastern  Siberia,  especially  since  the  Government  began  to 
encourage  the  transfer  of  the  land  from  the  community  to 
the  peasants.  The  settlers  generally  seem  to  make  a  decent 
living  and  to  improve  in  appearance.  When  the  first  difficulties 
have  been  overcome,  they  are  better  off  than  they  were  in 
Russia.  The  land  which  is  most  accessible  and  most  favourably 
situated  for  agriculture  has  already  been  occupied.  New 
immigrants  can  no  longer  hope  for  natural  grass-land,  but 
once  the  taiga  has  been  cleared,  the  soil  is  generally  good. 

Manure  is  only  beginning  to  be  used  in  some  parts  of 


Transbaikal.  The  ramparts  of  it  that  often  stand  round 
Siberian  towns  and  villages  are  left  undisturbed.  When  the 
old  land  is  exhausted,  the  peasant  ploughs  up  a  new  plot.  But 
now  that  he  usually  owns  his  land,  he  may  be  willing  to  make 
improvements,  and  adopt  a  less  wasteful  system  of  agriculture. 
A  system  of  rotation  of  crops  is  generally  followed  ;  it  varies 
in  different  districts. 

Eastern  Siberia  is  by  no  means  self-supporting  in  agri- 
cultural produce.  Some  200,000  tons  of  wheat  enter  the 
Transbaikal,  Amur,  and  Primorsk  Provinces  annually  from 
Manchuria  alone,  while  Irkutsk,  Yeniseisk,  and  Yakutsk  re- 
ceive large  supplies  from  western  Siberia. 

The  chief  peculiarity  of  agriculture  in  these  provinces  is 
the  great  preponderance  of  spring  over  winter  grain.  Even 
in  the  Transbaikal,  Amur,  and  Maritime  Provinces  spring 
grain  is  less  than  1  per  cent,  of  the  total.  The  long  winter 
and  slight  snowfall  make  it  almost  impossible  for  winter  grain 
to  ripen. 

Yeniseisk  and  Irkutsk. — Though  cattle -raising  is  the  chief 
occupation,  agriculture  is  steadily  extending.  Spring  crops 
predominate,  but  winter  corn  is  sown  on  28  per  cent,  of  the 
cultivated  land.  In  Irkutsk  especially  rye  is  the  chief  crop, 
then  oats  and  wheat.  Buckwheat,  millet,  potatoes,  lentils, 
flax,  and  hemp  are  grown.  In  Achinsk  rye  and  winter  wheat 
do  well  because  of  the  early  winter  and  deep  snow.  In  the 
Minusinsk  district  there  is  an  area  of  dry  steppe,  surrounded 
by  rich  black  earth,  where  a  considerable  agricultural  popu- 
lation prospers.  The  warm  dry  summer  enables  spring  wheat 
to  ripen  here  before  the  autumn  frosts.  Beetroots  and  water- 
melons do  well  near  Minusinsk.  Hay  is  good  and  plentiful 
throughout  these  provinces. 

The  Minusinsk  region  alone  has  a  trade  in  flour  with 
Krasnoyarsk  and  the  lower  Yenisei.  Some  4,000  tons  are 
produced  by  about  six  steam  or  water  mills,  none  of  which 
has  a  capacity  of  more  than  1,600  tons.  There  is  a  small 
steam-mill  at  Krasnoyarsk,  one  of  1,600  tons  capacity  at 
Cheremkhovskoe,  and  a  couple  of  good-sized  mills  in  Irkutsk 


and  the  neighbourhood.    There  are  also  some  20  water-mi 
for  local  use  along  the  Yenisei. 

The  soil  round  Minusinsk  is  particularly  favourable  to  beets, 
and  a  beet-sugar  manufactory  has  been  established  there. 

The  Provinces  east  of  Lake  Baikal. — The  territory  east  of 
Lake  Baikal  still  needs  large  quantities  of  imported  corn. 
Some  200,000  tons  of  wheat  enter  the  Maritime,  Amur,  an( 
Transbaikal  Provinces  every  year  from  Manchuria  for  the  use 
of  the  people  and  the  troops.  The  Government  is  always  the 
largest  buyer.  It  is  estimated  that  the  Priamur  alone  could 
produce  at  least  600,000  tons  more  grain  than  it  does  at 
present.  The  Government  proposes  to  put  a  duty  on  Man- 
churian  corn,  in  order  to  encourage  local  agriculture,  and 
lower  the  freights  on  grain  and  flour  from  western  Siberia 
But  it  is  held  in  Blagovyeshchensk,  which  is  the  agriculture 
capital  of  the  Priamur,  and  the  third  in  importance  of  the 
flour-milling  towns  of  the  Russian  Empire,  that,  so  far  from 
excluding  Manchurian  wheat,  this  will  only  enable  it  to  be 
sold  at  a  higher  price  across  the  river.  Indeed,  the  Russian 
mill-owners  in  Kharbin,  who  produce  most  of  this  imported 
flour,  are  in  no  way  perturbed  by  the  proposal.  The  campaign 
against  Chinese  labour  has  seriously  raised  the  price  of  living, 
and  the  suggested  duty  will  raise  it  still  further. 

The  Colonization  Department  also  intends  to  build  grain- 
elevators  along  the  Amur  railway.  The  Government  has  been 
advised  to  build  elevators  of  a  capacity  of  9,000  tons  and 
a  flour-mill  of  18  tons  capacity  per  diem  at  Aleksyeevsk. 
Smaller  elevators  are  to  be  established  at  Bochkarevo,  Bureya, 
Malinovka,  Tigda,  Yekaterinoslavka,  and  Gondatti.  The  ex- 
tension of  credit  among  the  peasants  is  also  to  be  encouraged. 
In  spite  of  these  suggestions  and  the  advantages  offered  by 
the  opening  of  the  railway  and  other  improvements  in  the 
means  of  communication,  there  is  little  prospect  of  these  pro- 
vinces being  able  to  produce  their  own  food  for  a  long  time. 

Moreover,  there  is  always  the  danger  of  over-production, 
with  a  consequent  sharp  fall  in  prices.  Russia  is  one  of  the 
world's  granaries,  and  it  might  not  be  easy  to  find  a  profitable 


market  for  surplus  Siberian  grain,  owing  to  the  inaccessibility 
of  the  country.  Hence  many  authorities  are  of  opinion  that 
the  future  of  the  east  Siberian  peasant  lies  in  stock-raising 
id  daky -farming  rather  than  in  corn-growing. 

►ut  the  Governor-General  of  the  Priamur  hoped  that  the 

lilding  of  a  good  harbour  at  Nikolaevsk  would  ensure  to  the 

imers  the  prosperity  which  is  threatened  by  the  opening 

bhe  Amur  Railway,  and  also  establish  a  large  bean  and  grain 

lustry  on  the  Sungari  and  the  Amur  between  Blagovyesh- 

msk,  Nikolaevsk,  and  Kharbin. 

\ansbaikal.  —  The  Transbaikal  is  sparsely  populated. 
Cattle-farming  is  much  more  developed  than  agriculture.  But 
the  quality  of  the  land  is  excellent.  Spring  corn  is  the  chief 
cereal,  forming  50  per  cent,  of  the  total  crop.  Then  come 
wheat  (16  per  cent.)  and  oats  (15  per  cent.).  Barley,  buck- 
wheat, and  in  places  millet,  flax,  and  hemp  are  also  sown. 
But  harvests  are  uncertain,  and  there  are  frequent  local 
failures.  Artificial  irrigation  is  necessary  in  the  principal 
agricultural  districts,  such  as  the  Nerchinsk  and  Aksha,  the 
natives  using  ditches  for  the  purpose,  but  the  irrigation 
should  be  systematized.  In  the  Selenginsk  district  the  sowing 
takes  place  early  in  May  and  the  harvest  in  August,  before  the 
autumn  frosts  begin. 

Potatoes  are  grown  everywhere  for  local  use,  but  other 
vegetables  only  on  a  small  scale.  Considering  the  high  prices 
realized,  it  is  surprising  that  they  are  not  more  cultivated. 

Amur  and  Maritime  Provinces. — Agriculture  is  at  present 
the  chief  occupation  in  the  Amur  Province,  but  in  the  Maritime 
Province,  in  spite  of  the  richness  of  the  soil,  the  climate  is  not 
favourable  to  its  development.  There  is  little  snow  in  winter. 
Hence  the  land  freezes  so  deep  that  the  subsoil  remains  frozen 
throughout  the  year.  In  summer  the  rainfall  is  heavy. 
Damp  is  the  chief  enemy.  Clover  and  fodder-grass  do  not 
flourish,  and  there  is  much  rot.  Of  some  567,000,000  acres 
only  about  850,000  were  sown  in  1906.  But  the  area  under 
crops  is  steadily  increasing,  especially  in  the  Ussuri  region  and 
on  the  Zeya-Bureya  plain. 




Amur  Province. — At  the  time  of  the  first  Russian  invasion, 
the  Daurians  on  the  Amur  were  great  agriculturists.  The 
soil  along  the  railway,  which  freezes  to  a  depth  of  200  or 
300  ft.,  consists  of  a  sticky  clay  that  only  thaws  for  3  ft.  This 
is  covered  with  coarse  grass  or  scrubby  vegetation.  But  the 
Zeya-Bureya  plain  is  very  fertile,  and  is  now  largely  settled. 
Fields  of  corn  extend  as  far  as  the  eye  can  reach.  Between 
1907-10  an  average  of  220,892  tons  of  cereals  was  produced, 
and  the  output  should  increase  rapidly. 

The  following  are  the  statistics  of  the  1911  harvest : 




.     118,000 



Wheat  . 

.     110,200 

Millet      . 






Barley  . 


Hemp  and  flax 


Buckwheat    . 




Potatoes  do  well,  averaging  12  cwt.  to  the  acre. 

The  Amur  Province  is  the  best  market  for  agricultural 
machinery  in  eastern  Siberia. 

In  1910  there  were  43  steam  mills,  111  water-mills,  and 
60  windmills  in  the  Amur  Province.  Blagovyeshchensk 
possessed  9  steam-mills.  There  were  also  38  rice  and  groats 
mills  in  the  Amur  and  Maritime  Provinces. 

The  following  table  shows  the  flour  produced  in  1911  by 
the  Blagovyeshchensk  mills.  Of  the  100,806  tons  of  grain 
used,  37,250  came  from  the  Amur  Province,  and  63,556  from 
Manchuria.  The  1,310  tons  of  rye  were  all  grown  in  the 

Flour  produced  for  : 





Blagovyeshchensk  . 



Mining  districts 




.       6,250 


Commissary  Department 
Other  markets 








In  the  same  year  Blagovyeshchensk  imported  from  Man- 



churia  2,347  tons  of  wheat  flour,  and  from  Odessa  and  other 
places  305  tons. 

In  the  short  summer,  carrots,  potatoes,  tomatoes,  cabbages, 
even  water-melons,  and  of  course  beets,  do  well  almost  every- 
where on  the  newly-cleared  land  by  the  Amur  Railway.  The 
Chinese  and  Koreans  grow  most  of  the  vegetables.  Blago- 
vyeshchensk  is  entirely  supplied  by  the  Chinese  across  the 

er,  with  whom  the  Russians  cannot  compete. 

Maritime   Province. — The   mountainous   character   of   the 

aritime  Province  as  a  whole  is  not  favourable  to  agriculture. 
The  fertile  territory  lies  to  the  south,  round  Nikolsk-Ussuriski 
and  Lake  Khanka,  and  in  the  Ussuri  valley.  The  winter  is 
long,  with  little  snow,  while  an  annual  precipitation  of 
22  inches  of  rain  falls  between  May  and  September.  Fogs 
are  common  in  the  south,  and  many  parts  of  the  province 
suffer  from  floods.  These  are  especially  frequent  on  the  Iman, 
while  east  of  Lake  Khanka  in  the  Prikhankoisk  region 
500,000  acres  of  arable  land  are  made  useless  by  inunda- 
tions in  summer.  It  has  been  proposed  that  the  district 
should  be  reclaimed  by  improving  the  outflow  through  the 
Sungacha.  In  1910,  80,192  acres  were  damaged  by  frost, 
floods,  insects,  and  other  causes.  The  Russians  had  to  learn 
from  the  Koreans  how  to  protect  their  fields  from  floods  and 
fogs.  The  Cossacks,  who  own  large  tracts  of  land,  preferred 
to  let  it  to  these  skilled  farmers,  whom  the  Government  policy 
of  Russifying  the  region  is  steadily  driving  out.  It  is  impos- 
sible for  a  Russian  peasant  to  compete  with  a  Korean, 
not  merely  on  account  of  the  extraordinary  skill  of  his 
intensive  farming,  but  on  account  of  his  low  standard  of 

The  average  size  of  a  holding  in  the  Maritime  Province  is 
about  15  acres.  Means  of  communication  are  very  defective, 
but  the  Government  is  building  new  roads.  Farmers  are  also 
encouraged  to  sow  soya  beans,  flax,  hemp,  and  beets,  for  which 
the  country  is  better  suited  than  for  grains.  Indeed,  the 
beets  are  so  good  that  there  is  talk  of  starting  a  beet-sugar 
factory  in  Vladivostok.     An  agricultural  school,  the  first  in 



the  Far  East,  was  to  be  established  at  Nikolsk-Ussuriski,  the 
centre  of  the  flourishing  farming  district  in  the  south. 
The  yield  of  the  various  crops  in  1911  was  as  follows  : 



Rye      . 
Oats     . 

.  2,197,249 

.     3,836,784 

Soya  beans 
Flax  and  hemp . 


There  are  115  steam-mills,  220  water-mills,  and  139  wind- 
mills in  the  Maritime  Province. 

Until  some  attempt  at  drainage  is  made,  and  the  old  coarse 
grass  is  removed,  the  hay  in  the  Ussuri  district  will  always  be 
rank.  It  often  smells  so  disagreeable  that  cattle  refuse  to 
eat  it. 

Potatoes  are  a  very  important  crop.  Vegetables  do  well  and 
sell  well,  but  the  Chinese  and  Koreans  reap  most  of  the  profits. 

Considerable  success  has  been  obtained  in  fruit-growing,  and 
attempts  are  being  made  to  establish  it  on  a  business  basis. 
At  Barabash  an  apple  is  said  to  have  been  produced  not 
inferior  to  the  Calif ornian  varieties.  It  is  hoped  that  in  time 
the  large  imports  of  fruit,  especially  from  Japan,  will  become 
unnecessary.  Grapes  of  a  poor  quality  grow  wild  in  the 
southern  Ussuri  district.  The  inhabitants  make  wine  from 
them  for  local  use. 

Sakhalin.  Wheat,  barley,  oats,  spring  corn,  and  even  winter 
rye  are  sown,  mostly  in  small  patches  by  ex-convicts.  Three- 
to  four-fold  is  a  good  harvest.  Vegetables,  notably  potatoes 
and  cabbages,  do  pretty  well.     The  soil  is  good  in  places. 

Yakutsk  and  the  North-east. — A  recent  commission  has 
decided  that  agriculture  could  be  advantageously  carried  on 
in  the  Yakutsk  Province.  Hitherto  it  has  proved  most  suc- 
cessful in  the  Lena  valley  and  on  the  Olekma  and  Aldan. 
The  flourishing  Skoptsi  colonies  near  Olekminsk  and  Yakutsk 
grow  wheat,  summer  rye,  barley,  and  oats.  These  Skoptsi 
import  modern  agricultural  machinery,  and  own  two  or 
three  steam  flour-mills.  Most  of  the  Yakuts  grow  wheat.  In 
fact,  grain  already  ripens  at  about  lat.  64°  N.    Barley  ripens  in 


71  days,  spring  corn  in  92,  oats  in  82,  and  wheat  in  76  days. 
But  the  harvest  is  very  moderate. 

Vegetable-growing  in  a  small  way  is  carried  on  as  far  north 
as  the  Kolima  and  the  Verkhoyansk  regions.  Barley  some- 
times ripens  near  Verkhoyansk.  The  Skoptsi  of  Markha,  near 
Itkutsk,  are  remarkably  successful  with  vegetables,  especially 
tatoes  and  cabbages.  But  the  natives  of  the  tundra  are 
d  busy  fishing  in  summer  to  waste  their  energies  on  occu- 
tions  so  unremunerative  as  agriculture  and  vegetable- 
growing.  The  bleak  shores  of  the  Sea  of  Okhotsk  are  very 
unfavourable  to  agriculture.  Even  potatoes  will  not  ripen 
near  the  mouth  of  the  Uda,  though  barley  and  excellent  vege- 
tables are  grown  inland  round  Udski-Ostrog.  Yet  cabbages 
and  even  cauliflowers  do  well  in  the  more  sheltered  region 
of  Yamsk.  In  Kamchatka  the  rich  black  earth  and  com- 
parative dryness  of  the  soil  between  Verkhne-Kamchatsk  and 
Klyuchevskaya  make  agriculture  possible  in  the  valley  of  the 
Kamchatka,  and  barley  and  vegetables  ripen  round  Petro- 
pavlovsk.  Indeed,  vegetables  such  as  potatoes,  beets,  carrots, 
radishes,  and  cabbages  are  grown  in  most  of  the  villages  of 
the  peninsula.  In  the  Petropavlovsk  district  over  100  acres 
are  sown  with  vegetables.  Potatoes  and  turnips  have  ripened 
at  Siktyakh,  on  the  Lena,  and  there  are  several  small  kitchen 
gardens  at  Markovo  on  the  Anadir.  The  example  of  Alaska 
shows  that  there  is  no  reason  why  the  growing  of  vegetables 
should  not  be  widely  extended  in  these  regions. 

Opium  and  Tobacco 
The  Ussuri  region  is  very  favourable  to  the  poppy,  and 
it  used  to  send  a  quantity  of  opium  to  China.  Russians  are 
not  addicted  to  the  drug,  but  the  Cossacks,  who  are  not  good 
agriculturists,  readily  let  their  land  to  the  Chinese  grower 
for  £10  an  acre.  They  are  thus  enabled  to  live  in  idleness,  and 
they  rapidly  become  demoralized.  Not  only  does  the  poppy 
exhaust  the  ground,  but  it  diminishes  the  output  of  beehives 
in  the  neighbourhood  by  75  per  cent.  Moreover,  it  attracts 
Chinese  of  a  very  undesirable  type.    In  1911  some  10,000  acres 



were  under  poppy,  and  much  more  is  probably  grown  illicitly 
in  the  remoter  districts.  Its  sale,  except  as  a  drug,  is  illegal 
in  Russia,  but  there  is  a  large  contraband  Chinese  traffic. 
Indeed,  so  alarmingly  has  the  trade  increased,  that  the  growing 
of  the  poppy  is  to  be  prohibited  by  law.  In  1913  the  crops 
were  destroyed  by  order  of  the  Government. 

Some  tobacco  is  grown  in  the  Yeniseisk  and  Irkutsk  Pro- 
vinces. About  600  acres  were  under  tobacco  in  the  Maritime 
Province  in  1911. 


Cedar-nuts,  which  give  good  oil,  are  gathered  for  eating  in 
the  Amur  Province,  and  in  much  larger  quantities  on  the 
upper  Yenisei  and  the  upper  courses  of  the  tributaries  of  the 
Angara.  In  the  Sayansk  taiga,  especially,  the  industry  is 
organized  on  a  commercial  basis.  September  and  October  are 
the  months  for  collecting.  Wooden  mortars  are  used  for 
husking  the  cones.  The  forests  lie  in  the  heart  of  the  Sayansk 
taiga.  In  a  good  season,  which  occurs  every  4-5  years, 
800  tons  are  sent  to  Krasnoyarsk  from  the  Yenisei. 

Crops  of  Siberia  and  Stfppes 

Mean  crop 





Wheat      . 

.       3,215,920 


Barley     . 










.     11,549,860 



Millet       . 




Leguminous  croj 

>s     .            31,930 


.       1,637,500 



Area  under  Crops  in 




Total  Culti- 
vated Area. 


6c  Legu- 



















Akmolinsk  . 

















































Total       . 








Domestic  animals — Apiculture — Dairy  industry 

Domestic  Animals 

In  western  Siberia  the  raising  of  live-stock  is  a  great  occu- 
pation of  the  inhabitants,  though  more  to  meet  their  own 
needs  than  for  the  purposes  of  trade  with  other  nations.  In 
eastern  Siberia,  especially  with  regard  to  horses  and  cattle, 
it  is  better  developed  than  agriculture,  but  is  still  far  from 
sufficing  for  the  needs  of  the  country.  The  figures  for  the 
principal  .live-stock  in  1911  were  as  follows  : 





{coarse  wool) 

Tobolsk    ...          749,672 



















Yakutsk   . 




Irkutsk     . 
















Sakhalin  . 






Province.                       Sheep 



{fine  fleece) 

Tobolsk    ....          3,251 



Tomsk      . 















Yakutsk   . 


Irkutsk     . 









Primorsk  . 



Sakhalin  . 



71,520       358,445     1,179,590 


Horses  predominate  among  the  Kirghiz,  who  breed  them 
for  transport,  meat,  and  kumis,  which  is  manufactured  from 
their  milk  :  the  Kirghiz  ride  wherever  they  go,  however  short 
the  distance.  When  they  change  from  a  nomadic  to  a  settled 
life,  the  number  of  their  horses  decreases  and  that  of  their 
cattle  increases.  The  tribes  of  the  Altai  largely  breed  horses  ; 
from  their  mares'  milk  a  spirit  called  terasum  is  prepared.  In 
le  rest  of  Siberia  the  horses  are  bred  mainly  for  farm-work  or 

act  as  post-horses. 

The  chief  breeds  in  Siberia  are  the  Kuznetsk  and  Kirghiz. 
In  the  south  of  Tobolsk  the  native  horse  is  interbred  with 
the  Kirghiz  variety.  This  cross-breed  is  of  extraordinary 
speed  and  staying  power.  The  horses  in  Tomsk  are  bigger ; 
they  are  not  so  swift,  but  can  carry  great  weights.  The 
Siberian  horse  is  usually  small,  easily  satisfied  as  to  food  and 
water,  and  can  endure  heat  and  cold.  It  is  fast,  but  not 
extremely  strong  :  its  normal  load  does  not  exceed  from 
720  to  900  lb.  Only  the  superior  sort  of  dray-horses  draw 
1,000  to  1,080  lb.  (or,  for  a  short  distance,  1,260).  There  is 
but  little  breeding  with  English  and  American  horses,  except 
for  the  carriage-horses  of  very  rich  men.  But  high-stepping 
horses  thus  bred  can  be  seen  at  certain  places,  e.  g.  Tyumen 
and  Tomsk. 

There  are  certain  breeding-places,  especially  in  the  Tomsk 
Government,  where  stallions  are  kept ;  their  number  was 
much  increased  in  1912.  Besides  these  there  are  stud  farms 
in  the  Tomsk,  Tobolsk,  and  Semipalatinsk  Provinces.  Horse- 
shows  have  been  introduced  in  the  towns  of  Tomsk  and 
Barnaul  and  the  village  of  Bryukhanovo,  in  the  Tomsk  Govern- 

In  eastern  Siberia  horse-breeding  is  an  important  industry. 
The  Transbaikal  horse  is  the  best  known  and  most  popular 
in  the  southern  districts.  The  Cossacks  of  the  Amur  prefer 
it  to  any  other,  and  it  is  the  only  breed  used  in  Sakhalin. 
It  is  small,  thin,  hardy,  and  well  suited  to  endure  a  rough  life. 
It  is  12  or  13  hands  high,  can  draw  a  load  of  1,000  lbs.,  and 
cover  any  distance  at  40  miles  a  day  in  a  troika.    So  light  is 


the  snowfall  in  the  Transbaikal  and  Amur  Provinces  that  it 
can  graze  all  the  year  round  in  the  open.  The  vostretz  grass 
(meadow-grass)  of  the  Transbaikal,  which  affords  almost  better 
food  in  winter  than  in  summer,  keeps  the  horses  in  condition 
there.  In  the  Amur  Province,  where  there  is  no  such  grass, 
they  get  thin  in  winter,  though  they  quickly  fatten  again  in 
spring.  But  the  breed  degenerates  rapidly  there.  The 
Government  has  recently  started  stud  farms  with  good 
stallions  in  the  Transbaikal  and  Yakutsk  Provinces  in  order 
to  improve  the  breed.  In  the  Transbaikal  the  average  price 
of  a  horse  is  about  5  guineas,  at  Blagovyeshchensk  from 
10  to  20  guineas. 

In  the  Yakutsk  Province  the  ugly  little  Yakut  horse,  with 
its  shaggy  coat,  displays  astonishing  endurance.  It  often  lives 
out  of  doors  in  winter,  and  is  even  used  within  the  Arctic  circle. 

Cattle, — The  Siberiaks  are  much  more  careless  about  their 
cattle  than  the  emigrants,  for  they  allow  them  to  remain  out 
in  the  winter  without  any  shelter  except  such  as  is  given 
them  by  their  coats,  which  are  as  a  rule  very  thick.  Cattle- 
raising  is  especially  developed  in  the  Tyukalinsk  district  of 
Tobolsk  and  in  the  Kainsk  steppe  and  about  the  Chulim  in 
Tomsk.  Cattle  have  increased  in  value  ;  formerly  they  were 
worth  about  £1  each  ;  latterly  they  could  command  from  £2  to 
£4.  The  local  prices  for  meat  range  low ;  so  it  is  more  profitable, 
when  possible,  to  use  them  for  dairy  purposes.  Consequently 
there  has  been  a  decline  in  the  hide  and  meat  trades.  The 
export  of  cattle  themselves  is  inconsiderable — in  1911, 
65,000  head  (£250,000).  The  great  commercial  centres  of  the 
cattle  trade  are  Petropavlovsk  and  Omsk  (where  the  railway 
crosses  the  Ishim  and  the  Irtish).  From  the  former  meat  is 
exported  to  European  Russia  at  the  rate  of  30,000,000  tons 
a  year.  Further  west  there  is  not  enough  cold  storage  for 
trade,  but  some  firms  are  establishing  cold  storage  plants  along 
the  railway.  In  the  steppes  cattle  are  bred  for  meat,  as  well 
as  for  dairy  purposes,  but  the  meat  is  mostly  for  local  con- 
sumption, and  of  little  economic  value,  though  a  certain 
amount  is  exported  frozen  in  winter  to  Petrograd,  Moscow, 


and  the  far  east  from  the  region  between  Petropavlovsk  and 
Novo-Nikolaevsk  ;  there  is  no  export  in  the  summer.  Some 
time  ago  a  German  company  was  said  to  be  organizing  the 
export  of  Siberian  meat,  especially  veal,  to  Berlin. 

Both  the  Yeniseisk  and  Irkutsk  Provinces  are  poorly  off  for 
cattle.  But  stock-raising  is  the  chief  occupation  of  the  nomads 
of  Minusinsk,  Achinsk,  and  Turukhansk,  and  of  the  natives 
of  the  Balagansk  and  Verkholensk  regions.  The  Minusinsk 
district  alone  has  enough  for  its  own  needs.  In  southern 
Yeniseisk  each  peasant  possesses,  on  an  average,  2  horses, 
5  cattle,  and  10  sheep.  All  the  oats  and  hay  are  kept  for  food 
for  the  stock  in  the  winter.  Large  herds  of  the  fine,  fleshy 
Soyot  cattle  enter  the  Irkutsk  Province  every  year  through 
the  Sayansk  Range  for  the  supply  of  meat  to  Siberia.  As 
many  as  30,000  cattle  are  said  to  reach  Irkutsk  by  a  single 
track.  The  animals  are  kept  in  quarantine  for  a  fortnight  and 
are  medically  examined  before  crossing  the  frontier. 

In  Transbaikal  cattle-raising  is  very  successful,  especially 
among  the  nomad  tribes.  Thanks  to  the  vostretz  grass,  it 
should  be  capable  of  considerable  development.  There  is  even 
a  co-operative  society,  with  its  centre  at  Chita,  which  engages 
in  purchasing  cattle  for  the  army.  As  many  as  150,000  hides 
are  annually  exported  from  this  province.  They  are  used  to 
cover  tea-chests.  Owing  to  the  rough  life  the  effects  of 
attempts  to  improve  the  breed  have  only  become  visible  in  the 
last  few  generations.  The  average  price  of  a  cow  is  £3  15s.  ; 
of  a  pair  of  bullocks,  £10  15s. 

In  the  Amur  and  Maritime  Provinces  the  cattle  are  Man- 
churian  or  Korean.  As  they  are  never  milked  at  home,  they 
only  give  milk  while  the  calf  is  with  them.  In  Blagovyesh- 
chensk  cows  of  local  breed  cost  from  £8  5s.  to  £12  10s  ;  bulls 
from  £8  6s.  8d.  to  £12  10s.  Some  authorities  believe  that  the 
future  of  the  Amur  Province  lies  in  cattle-breeding  rather  than 
in  agriculture,  and  vigorous  efforts  are  to  be  made  to  en- 
courage it.  At  present  the  greater  part  of  the  meat  supply 
comes  from  Manchuria.  In  1907,  5,000  head  of  Manchurian 
cattle   and   sheep   were  imported.     The   chief   fairs   are   at 


Blagovyeshchensk,  Khabarovsk,  Nikolsk-Ussuriski,  and  Vladi- 
vostok. Australian  meat  has  been  imported  into  Vladivostok 
in  small  quantities. 

The  cattle  are  of  small  breed  ;  the  average  live  weight  of 
cows  is  510  to  650  lb.,  of  bulls  800  to  930  lb.  ;  the  Altai 
breed  is  bigger.  On  account  of  the  rigorous  climate  of  Siberia 
it  is  little  use  to  import  foreign  breeds.  A  small  number  of 
Simmenthal  and  Allhausen  cattle  have  been  purchased  at 
Moscow  and  introduced  into  Siberia,  but  only  by  the  well-to- 
do.  Cattle  as  a  rule  are  free  from  tuberculosis,  but  suffer  from 
Siberian  plague  and  from  foot  and  mouth  disease  (yashchur). 
Quarantine  regulations  have  practically  extinguished  rinder- 
pest, which  in  certain  years,  such  as  1884,  wrought  great 
disaster.  Despite  the  primitive  nature  of  their  keep,  the 
Siberian  cattle  stand  the  climate  well. 

Sheep. — The  ordinary  Siberian  sheep  is  of  a  poor  breed  ; 
it  yields  little  meat,  very  little  tallow,  and  inferior  wool. 
The  Kirghiz  sheep  vary  in  colour  ;  they  are  grey,  white, 
black,  and  sometimes  red  ;  the  Kirghiz  prefer  the  grey  and 
white,  as  their  wool  fetches  a  better  price  in  the  markets. 
They  are  shorn  twice  a  year,  yielding  from  four  to  six  pounds  of 
unwashed  wool,  which  is  largely  used  for  felt,  both  for  local 
needs  and  in  the  factories  of  western  Siberia.  The  Kirghiz 
sheep  in  winter  cannot  get  at  their  food  through  the  snow ; 
so  they  follow  in  the  wake  of  the  horses  and  cattle,  and  eat 
what  pasture  is  left  for  them.  One  type  of  Kirghiz  sheep 
has  a  thick  pad  of  fat  on  its  rump,  which  affords  much  tallow. 
Tallow  factories  are  common  in  the  western  Siberian  towns, 
but  there  is  not  enough  to  meet  the  local  needs,  and  tallow  is 

Since  1900  a  breed  of  fine-fleece  merino  sheep  has  been 
introduced ;  it  is  of  Spanish  origin  and  was  reared  in  the 
Crimea ;  it  prospers  in  the  Semipalatinsk  and  Akmolinsk 
Governments,  and  in  the  Altai  in  the  Zmyeinogorsk  district. 
The  average  yield  of  unwashed  wool  is  13  lb.  to  15  lb.,  the 
best  rams  yielding  up  to  36  lb.,  the  best  ewes  up  to  22£  lb. 
The  wool  sells  at  Kharkov  from  16s.  to  £1  4s.  the  pud.     The 


sheep  are  brought  by  considerably  reduced  tariffs  to  the 
steppe  and  Altai  regions.  The  wool  exported  to  European 
Russia  in  1911  was  worth  £400,000.  A  considerable  quantity 
of  the  wool  goes  to  Irbit  and  thence  to  Nizhne-Novgorod  and 
the  interior  of  European  Russia  by  rail  and  water,  or  else 
by  the  Irtish  to  the  Perm  Railway,  and  so  by  the  Kama 
and  Volga  to  the  centre  of  Russia.  In  old  days  the  sheep 
that  found  no  place  in  the  fresh-meat  market  were  sent  to 
the  salgani  and  salted  for  the  winter,  and  sold  for  as  little  as 
Id.  or  \d.  the  lb. ;  now  only  a  smaJl  amount  of  meat  goes 
to  the  salgani. 

Sheep-breeding  seems  likely  to  become  an  important  in- 
dustry in  the  Yeniseisk  and  Irkutsk  Provinces,  now  that  the 
merino  sheep  has  been  acclimatized  in  central  Siberia.  The 
plains  of  the  Yenisei  have  been  found  to  be  suitable  for  sheep- 
farming  on  a  large  scale,  and  it  is  probable  that  the  numbers 
are  already  far  greater  than  in  1911.  The  soil  yields  excellent 
forage  and  in  a  good  season  sufficient  hay  can  be  obtained  for 
several  years.  The  cost-  of  transferring  flocks  from  Russia 
is  heavy,  but  the  Government  is  providing  subsidies  for  this 
purpose  and  for  the  development  of  new  sheep-farms.  The 
sheep  are  killed  for  their  wool  and  their  tallow.  There  is  as 
yet  no  regular  demand  for  mutton.  Indeed  an  elaborate 
system  of  refrigerators  would  have  to  be  organized  before  it 
would  be  possible  to  find  and  supply  a  regular  market  with 

In  Transbaikal  the  sheep  are  large,  with  an  average  height 
of  over  2  ft.  The  wool  is  coarse,  thick,  and  of  medium  length. 
The  average  price  is  £1  12s.  2d.  In  the  Amur  Province  the 
absence  of  dry  pasturage  is  unfavourable  to  sheep.  The  few 
that  are  bred  are  Mongolian. 

Goats  are  bred  by  the  Kirghiz,  Cossacks,  and  Russian 
peasants.  The  industry  of  preparing  goat's  hair  coverings 
is  developing  among  the  emigrants  in  Turgai.  Large  numbers 
of  goats  are  kept  by  the  natives  of  Transbaikal.  In  1914 
there  were  114,105  there. 

Pigs. — The  Russian  pig  is  a  strong  animal,  and  stands  the 


discomforts  of  temperature  and  crowding  well.  It  is  only 
the  Russian  population  who  keep  pigs  east  of  the  Ural ; 
the  Kirghiz,  being  Mohammedans,  are  not  allowed  to  eat  or 
keep  them.  Development  of  the  bacon  industry  promises 
well,  because  the  growth  of  dairy-farming  has  meant  abundant 
supplies  of  butter-milk  for  pig  food.  The  amount  of  bacon 
exported  went  up  from  700  tons  in  1908  to  4,800  tons  in 
1911.  There  is  a  proposal  for  a  British  company  to  acquire 
the  waste  lands  along  the  banks  of  the  Ob,  and  to  place 
them  under  grass-cultivation  for  breeding  bacon-pigs,  so 
that  there  should  be  ultimately  an  enormous  bacon-export 
by  the  Kara  Sea.  Kurgan  contains  a  sausage  factory,  and 
there  are  at  least  two  bacon  factories  in  Siberia. 

In  Yeniseisk,  Irkutsk,  and  Transbaikal  pig-breeding  is 
carried  on  extensively.  In  Transbaikal  the  animals  are  Man- 
churian  and  of  poor  quality.  They  are  small  and  lean,  but 
they  increase  rapidly.  The  breed  is  being  improved  by 
imported  swine.  The  average  price  is  £1  12s.  2d.  Pigs  are 
not  numerous  in  the  Amur  Province,  but  in  the  Primorsk  the 
pig-industry  is  considerably  developed,  especially  on  the  Ussuri. 
Greater  care  might  make  it  more  successful  than  it  has  proved 
hitherto.    Here  also  the  breed  is  Manchurian. 

Camels  are  bred  by  the  Kirghiz,  and  in  a  few  cases  by 
Russian  emigrants  :  those  with  single  humps  are  larger, 
and  supposed  to  be  stronger  than  those  with  two.  The  camels 
are  better  cared  for  by  their  masters  than  the  cattle  are  ; 
they  are  very  sensitive  to  cold,  and  so  winter  forage  is  stored 
for  them.  They  are  used  for  transport  purposes  and  also 
for  their  milk  and  hair,  which  is  obtained  once  a  year  in  the 
spring,  giving  an  average  of  12  lb.  per  camel. 

The  camels  in  the  Transbaikal,  of  which  there  were  10,992 
in  1911,  are  strong  and  of  great  endurance.  A  pair  of  them 
can  carry  20-25  cwt.    The  average  price  is  about  £10  155. 

Reindeer  are  found  in  great  numbers  in  the  north  of 
Tobolsk  Government  and  to  some  extent  in  the  Narim  district 
of  Tomsk.  It  is  very  difficult  to  obtain  any  idea  of  their 
numbers,  but  they  have  been  estimated  at  515,000  in  Tobolsk, 


and  2,000  in  Tomsk.  To  the  Ostyak  and  Samoyede  who 
possess  them,  the  reindeer  means  everything — milk,  meat, 
clothing,  travelling,  and  traction. 

There  are  small  herds  of  reindeer  in  the  Amur  and  Irkutsk 
Provinces.  In  1906  there  were  said  to  be  515,000  reindeer 
in  the  Yeniseisk  Province,  principally  in  the  Turukhansk  region, 
)5,360  reindeer  in  the  Yakutsk  Province,  80  per  cent,  of 
;hem  being  in  the  Verkhoyansk  and  Kolima  districts.  In 
the  Kamchatka  Province,  including  the  Chukchee  Peninsula, 
there  were  287,000  reindeer.  These  numbers  can  only  be 
ipproximate.  The  Chukchee  have  the  largest  herds  of 
reindeer  in  the  world. 

In  the  north  reindeer  and  sledge  dogs  are  the  only  domestic 

Maral  deer  are  kept  in  the  Altai,  along  the  upper  Irtish, 
and  in  the  southern  regions  of  the  Yeniseisk  and  Irkutsk 
Provinces.  They  are  a  kind  of  wapiti,  which  are  kept  in 
special  farms  (maralniki).  Their  horns,  cut  off  in  the  velvet, 
are  sold  to  the  Chinese,  who  extract  from  it  a  drug  (panty), 
much  esteemed  by  them,  but  of  very  doubtful  efficacy.  The 
price  of  horns  fluctuates  very  much,  depending  on  the  state 
of  the  markets  :  it  commonly  varies  from  14s.  to  £1  per  lb. 
But  those  horns  which  are  sold  with  the  frontal  bone  are 
considerably  dearer — £10  or  even  occasionally  £20  per  lb. — 
as  it  is  then  necessary  to  kill  the  animal.  As  the  horns  attain 
a  weight  of  101b.  and  the  average  weight  is  5  or  6  lb.,  and 
the  keep  costs  practically  nothing,  it  can  be  seen  that  this 
form  of  deer-breeding  is  very  profitable.  In  Transbaikal  the 
izyubr  or  wapiti  (Gervus  canadensis),  which  closely  resembles 
the  maral,  is  bred  instead,  while  in  the  Primorsk,in  addition  to 
the  izyubr,  the  aksis,  the  most  valuable  of  all  these  deer,  is 
found.  The  horns  of  the  aksis  fetch  from  £3  to  £3  10s.  per 
lb.  Of  the  10,000  deer  of  this  type  in  maralniki  in  Asiatic 
Russia  in  1911,  3,125  were  in  the  Maritime  Province,  especially 
near  Olgi  Bay  and  the  Suchan  River.  The  industry  is  likely 
to  develop  still  further.  The  kabargi  or  musk-deer  (Moschus 
moschiferus)  is  also  being  bred  commercially  ;    it  is  highly 


valued  by  the  Chinese  for  the  medicinal  properties  of  its  musk 
and  its  horns. 

Poultry,  <fbc. — There  is  a  certain  export  of  eggs  from  Kurgan. 

Owing  to  the  presence  of  many  lakes  and  ponds,  duck-  and 
goose-breeding  might  have  considerable  development,  but  it 
takes  a  long  time  to  start.  Siberian  geese  are  comparatively 


This  is  a  very  old  industry  in  Russia,  recorded  as  long  ago 
as  the  eleventh  century  ;  the  Russian  princes  used  to  levy 
tribute  of  wax  and  honey  on  their  conquered  subjects.  The 
bee  has  had  almost  a  sacred  character  because  of  the  wax 
candles  used  in  religious  worship.  The  decay  of  the  industry 
is  said  to  be  due  to  the  drying  up  of  the  steppes,  and  in  some 
parts  to  the  destruction  of  the  forests  ;  but  there  are  parts 
of  western  Siberia  in  which  it  is  very  active,  expecially  the 
districts  of  Kuznetsk,  Biisk,  Zmyeinogorsk,  and  Ust-Kameno- 
gorsk ;  there  is  also  some  beekeeping  as  far  north  as  the 
district  of  Tomsk,  and  among  the  Urals,  where  there  are 
artels  for  beekeeping,  e.  g.  at  Verkhne-Tagilski.  In  the 
Achinsk  and  Minusinsk  districts,  in  the  south  of  Yeniseisk, 
there  are  over  45,000  hives.  The  Little  Russians  have  here 
introduced  the  latest  methods.  Apiculture  in  the  Amur 
Province  is  on  a  small  scale,  but  growing  rapidly  in  import- 
ance. It  is  concentrated  along  the  Ityela,  the  Khara,  and  the 
Zavitaya,  where  92  villages  carry  it  on  on  commercial  lines 
with  2,757  hives.  In  1911  44,345  lb.  of  honey  and  4,434  lb. 
of  wax  were  sold.  The  climate  and  vegetation  of  the  Amur 
Province  are  very  favourable  to  apiculture.  Its  slow  growth 
is  due  to  the  fact  that  the  peasants  find  other  work  more 
profitable.  Bee-keeping  is  also  very  successfully  carried  on 
in  the  Maritime  Province,  notably  round  Nikolsk-Ussuriski. 

Besides  artels  in  certain  places  other  help  is  given  to  bee- 
keepers :  a  considerable  number  of  expert  instructors  is 
available,  and  local  government  bodies  sell  bee-culture 
equipments  at  reduced  rates,  where  desirable.    It  is  estimated 


I  that  the  collective  output  of  Siberia  is  about  one-fifth  of  the 
output  of  the  whole  Russian  Empire.  The  most  recent  figures 
available  are  those  for  (a)  private  owners  in  1910,  and  (b) 
peasants  in  1908. 



Average  price 


Average  price 

of  hives. 

per  pud. 

per  pud. 


£     s.     d. 


£    s.     d. 




16     6 


2     0    8 

Steppes    . 



17     2 


2     1     9 

Siberia     . 



12     1 


1     3 


71,686  313£        10    3  31  2    2 

Dairy  Industry 

The  dairy  industry  has  developed  with  more  astonishing 
rapidity  than  any  other  undertaking  in  Siberia.  Before  1893 
only  toplennoe  (boiled  or  melted  butter)  was  manufactured 
in  Siberia  ;  it  sold  at  an  average  of  12s.  per  pud,  and  required 
32  puds  of  milk  to  produce  one  pud,  the  average  price  of 
milk  being  <±%d.  or  4fd.  per  pud.  It  is  still  made  by  the 
Russian  peasants  but  not  exported.  In  1893  the  first  dairy 
farm  was  begun  near  Tyumen  by  the  English  wife  of  a  Russian. 
The  new  article  sold  at  from  £1  to  £1  4s.  the  pud,  and  required 
20  or  22  puds  of  milk  for  one  pud.  In  the  course  of  ten 
years  the  amount  developed,  under  government  patronage, 
to  32,000  tons,  worth  about  £2,500,000.  The  growth  of  the 
industry  was  so  astonishing  that  between  1900  and  1902  the 
number  of  dairies  had  increased  by  91  per  cent.  Government 
encouraged  it  by  granting  loans,  for  which  the  live-stock 
of  the  peasants  was  sufficient  security,  and  subsidies  to 
village  communities  for  establishing  dairies.  In  1903  an 
additional  £200,000  was  granted  for  starting  dairies  on  the 
artel  system,  by  which  several  peasants  distributed  the  pro- 
ceeds in  proportion  to  the  amount  of  milk  provided  ;  it 
becomes  a  general  or  public  dairy  when  the  group  is  extended 
so  as  to  include  the  whole  village  community.  Further,  the 
Government  established  technical  dairy  schools  at  Kurgan, 
Omsk,  Kainsk,  Barnaul,  and  Zmyeinogorsk,  a  central  labora- 



tory  at  Tomsk,  and  local  laboratories  in  five  other  centres, 
and  refrigerating  stores  began  to  be  erected  along  the  railway. 

Butter  is  small  in  bulk  and  can  be  profitably  exported. 
The  export  trade,  which  began  in  1897,  is  mainly  in  the  hands 
of  firms  in  Moscow,  hitherto  largely  managed  by  Germans  and 
Danes.  Lately  more  interest  has  been  taken  by  British  com- 
merce in  this  industry,  but  only  one  or  two  British  firms  have 
established  offices  in  Siberia,  and  only  one  British  house  has 
regular  offices  in  its  own  name  at  the  principal  centres  of 
export.  Siberian  cheese  also  finds  a  ready  market  at  home, 
but  the  better  grades  are  also  sold  throughout  Europe. 

Siberian  milk  contains  an  exceptionally  high  proportion 
of  fat.  The  pasture  is  rich,  and  the  cattle  eat  much  and 
drink  little.  Owing  to  its  richness  the  average  yield  is  1  lb. 
of  butter  to  20-05  lb.  of  milk,  whereas  in  Denmark  it  is  to 
28  lb.  The  Siberian  cow  is  long  lived  ;  its  meat  is  inferior, 
so  that  most  are  kept  for  dairy  purposes  ;  fodder  cannot  be 
exported  at  a  profit,  and  will  therefore  continue  to  be  cheap 
in  the  country.  Cattle  are  now  fed  scientifically  on  preserved 
fodder.  A  cow  brings  in  from  14s.  to  £1  Is.  a  month  in  accor- 
dance with  the  season. 

The   Government   aim    at   having  an  artel  dairy  in   each 
village  ;    any  one  of  average  industry  and  intelligence  after 
three  months'  training  at  a  dairy  school  is  competent  to  be 
engaged  by  an  artel  to  direct  their  labour.    There  are  instruc- 
tors with  about  ten  dairies  under  them,  who  have  usually! 
been  Germans  or  Danes.    Most  of  the  dairies  work  with  hand- 
or  horse-power,  steam  being  less  applicable  in  out-of-the-way 
places.    Pasteurization  of  milk  is  being  introduced,  and  cemenl 
floors  in  dairies  are  to  be  obligatory.     The  dairies  purchase 
milk  from  neighbouring  farmers  and  cream  from  those  more 
distant.     Many  farmers  churn  their  own  butter  and  sell  i1 
to  the  dairies  to  be  rewashed,  tested,  classified,  packed  anc 
sent  off  to  the  market-centres.    The  cost  of  milk  at  the  dairie 
is  4:d.  a  gallon  ;    the  price  obtained  for  butter  varies  fron 
9|d  to  8%d.  a  pound.    In  1910  15  butter  factories  producec 
up  to  7,500  lb.  ;    30  between  7,500  and  12,500  lb.  ;    15  up  t< 


18,000  lb.  ;    11  up  to  25,000  lb.  ;    8  up  to  40,000  lb.     In  1912 

there  were  1,060  dairies  in  Tobolsk,   and  2,042  in  Tomsk. 

Of  this  total  of  3,102,  there  were  1,784  in  private  hands,  and 

1,318  managed  by  artels  (42-5  per  cent,  of  the  whole). 

Everything  is   done  to   help  the   export  trade,   which  is 

irected  to  the  Baltic  ports  by  butter  trains,   which  take 

:ecedence  of  all  other  goods  traffic.    They  start  from  Novo- 

fikolaevsk  during  the  summer  (especially  in  June  and  July) 

m  to  fourteen  times  a  week.    The  ice-trucks  have  a  carrying 

ipacity  of  from  7J  tons  to  22|  tons.    The  train  is  made  up 

it  the  various  butter-transit  centres  with  ready -loaded  trucks 

far  as  Chelyabinsk,  and  reaches  the  number  of  twenty-five 

nicks.     Among  the  chief  centres  of  the  trade  are  Omsk, 

rhich  is  a  sort  of  clearing-house  for  exportation  of  butter, 

md  Kurgan,  which  is  the  main  distributing-point  for  home 

and  foreign  markets,  and  where  all  butter  exported  is  subject 

to   a   preliminary   investigation   by   state  officials,  members 

of  the  Agronomical  Organization.     On  arrival  at  the  ports, 

especially  Riga  (and  Windau  before  the  war),  it  is  loaded  on 

special  refrigerators,  and  so  on  to  the  steamers  which  convey 

it  to  London,  Hamburg,  Hull,  and  Copenhagen,  of  which  the 

last  named  does  a  considerable  amount  of  re-exportation. 

The  sea-freight    to    British  ports  costs  about  5d.  per  pud. 

There  are  extensive  refrigerators  at  the  chief  loading  stations. 

This  is  the  main  route  of  the  butter  trade,  but  the  Kurgan 

Farmers'  Association  has  been  pressing  the  importance   of 

pushing  the  trade  in   south  European  Russia,  and  there  is 

a  great  opening  for  it  in  the  Far  East,  which  depends  on 

tinned  Canadian  milk  and  tinned  Australian  butter.     It  is 

said  that  Siberian  butter  actually  improves  by  being  kept 

in  cold  storage,  even  up  to  six  months. 

A  few  figures  will  show  the  rapid  development  of  the  industry 
and  its  present  proportions.  Starting  from  nothing  in  1893, 
the  export  of  butter  in  1903  was  35,225  tons,  the  principal 
centres  being  Kurgan,  which  exported  8,227  tons,  and  Novo- 
Nikolaevsk,  through  which  came  the  Altai  butter,  which 
exported  8,066|  tons.    In  1912  there  was  a  great  development ; 


:  • 

the  transport  by  the  Siberian  lanway 

cent,  between  April  and  October  en  the 

same  period  the  Tear  before.     To 

were  eiported  as  eomwured  with 

A  larger  proportion  of  what  was  sent 

interior  markets  o*i  Rwfinaw    Ihe  annorti 

-".-.  -.<:     '       •.-:-.-.:•      ..;\  .     7-.:\-.v.. 

exported  from   Siberia,   ehieny  from  Tehekk  and 

in  1  ^  worth  £2L$36J00: 

in  1911  is.  wort 

In   1913  the  amoont  exported 

and  for  none  consumption  71.300  tc 
of  The  war  caused  a  peat  decrease  o  wine  to 

abnormal  conditions  and  the  dosmg  of  the  Bailie  ported  bail 
even  in  1914  there  went  from  Barnaul  £1,130  tons,  and  from 

Dairy-farming    *>   ^   mnch  lees    importance   m  eastern 

Siberia,    Yeniseisk  only  supplies  1-2  per  cent,  of  the  Siberian 

prodace  on  the  market.    In  Transradial  the  cat  tie  are 

small  and  yield  little  milk :    this  is  especially  trae  of  t he 

Buryat  cattle.  Mongolian  in  orkin. 

Dairy-farming  is  sJowiy  incf  easing  m  Ine  Maritime  Rovmte. 
In  1911  this  province  only  contained  fire  co-operative  dairies,] 
but  in  1913  there  were  eighteen.  In  1911  local  butte 
from  l*  11a*.  to  3s.  *(.  a  lb.,  bat  in  1913  it  was  only  1*.  A*. 
Nearly  all  the  dairy  produce  is  the  work  of  the  four  summer 
months.  The  local  dealers  often  have  contracts  with  wees 
an  nrms.  Hence  the  butter  fails  to  become  known 
locally.    Proposals  hare  been  made  for  haiHmg  coMkstoiagt 

and  ^  msat.  and  even  further  north,  but  caule-raisins 

oan  never  be  profitable  in  these  regions. 


Itanm  a^v   roan  tk*M 

vitk  tfce  Y*st  *rvt*  «€  Si S?ri*  oc  vwd  by 

iwhBsrry  b  iKaHilmkk    TW  ikwt 

:-    :a.-   : ;    -    -  ..a   ;:   :>.;    :    --".v- 

puts,  lite  deetrat**)*  «f  tke  fmstes  in  tins* 

like  tfce  fctdks  «ld»C%  art  bttdk  vfceaee  i*  is  ws& 

e*>dhr  trMssrors^i.  tite  bulk  of  tw»Wf.  w«i  Uttufcue   tie 

fc&  v*  scvvfcx-ea  sack  *  disttepaarr  bet  wvea  Ike  pittdhKtirjfcT 

Jjftaf  jf  F^y«^- I?  k  estiMAted  iktt  sfeen*  we  *frogfO*c 

nt.a   »  •      ♦  •  s  -      -  As  r.    »         :  ---'\..'\-  v; 

part  ts  iwxjqptoredL  wfeile  *  HMfe*dtei»Me  £vr*  ioa  Kwwds  tke 
■wU  cvcsc*:*  of  rah&el  -  State  »  t»e  ownwai  of 

<fcd  OiXXaW  a<re^  of  «&&?*  39*  per  cea* ,  t$  efessiMl  *>  rick 

j-1^  n.'  '     -    -       >■"-*:    yrvyoc:     -    *-  S    \v-   .•/--      -  - 

t&Ksifedi  in  Kurvxvtui  Rwsj:  -  Ate  :&e  0 

praaeipal  owt*?r  itt 

jfchkwsj >  e^tate^s  <tf  toe  Ah*il    Tke  State  fcves- 

-_     •'.•>;        -..-    •:.•—--       .i>       .    s  -    .         ;.  -      >.;'?-iv.-.'.irV. 

i_     . ' :      ■  -  s 

Of  tfeese  >"3A3s*  tv-r^:>  <*f  A>s*,sc  Rasa*  «|>  re*  JFttwary  1, 
miv«l>  M^«eret«$»afl^aadca^tts*: 

*on&  we  mT*$tt$at«dL  rix^se  t *v>  >ni%  *o   nraftaiag 
fib*  15  per  tea*,  of  tfce  vtafe    1ft  IMt  «**  1*15  tMte 



44,075,900  acres  were  organized  and  investigated,  and  it 
was  hoped  that  by  the  beginning  of  1915  nearly  a  quarter  of 
the  whole  area  of  State  forests  would  have  been  thus  dealt 
with.  The  average  Siberian  forestry  district  exceeds  the 
wooded  area  of  all  Great  Britain  (3,037,500  acres).  The 
average  allotment  is  311,850  acres,  but  this  computation 
includes  a  great  part  of  the  northern  district,  which  is  prac- 
tically valueless.  No  wood  of  economic  value  is  obtained 
north  of  lat.  60°  N.,  though  larches  grow  to  lat.  68°  N.  on 
the  east  side  of  the  Urals.  The  height  and  diameter  of  the 
northerly  trees  are  small ;  they  grow  very  slowly,  and  their 
wood  is  weak  and  poor.  Taller  and  better  trunks  are  only 
to  be  found  at  some  isolated,  dry  places,  but,  unless  trees 
grow  conveniently  close  to  one  another,  they  are  not  of  much 
commercial  value. 

Trade. — The  Siberian  timber  trade,  as  a  whole,  is  disappoint- 
ing. In  1911  in  the  whole  of  Asiatic  Russia  1,800,750,000 
cubic  feet  of  timber  were  assigned  for  sale,  but  only  10  per 
cent,  was  sold.  From  the  State  forests  of  Asiatic  Russia  in 
1910  were  realized  £423,400;  in  1911,  £407,900;  in  1912, 
£425,900.  The  value  of  each  desyatin  (2-7  acres)  was  roughly 
Is.  10^d.  in  Akmolinsk  ;  \\d.  in  Tobolsk  ;  \\d.  or  lfcZ.  in 
Tomsk.  As  regards  the  State  forests  of  Siberia  only,  in  1911 
there  were  558,002,916  acres,  of  which  211,087,351  were 
worked  directly  by  the  Government .  The  birch-bark,  bast,  &c . , 
produced  were  about  1,260  tons.  The  total  amount  of  pro- 
duced material  was  126,662,011  cubic  feet.  The  gross  receipts 
were  £273,293,  and  the  net  profit  £60,994. 

Administration. — Paid  forest  guards  are  appointed  to  look 
after  the  forests  of  western  Siberia,  and  the  peasants  are 
supposed  to  see  to  the  forests  put  at  their  disposal.  The 
administration  only  allows  that  part  of  the  forest  to  be  cut 
each  year  which  is  specially  assigned,  and  control  is  exer- 
cised over  the  raftage  and  steamer- wharves.  The  Forestry 
Administration  is  undermanned.  A  law  was  passed  in  1889 
that  those  engaged  in  the  timber  trade  should,  under  pay- 
ment of  a  deposit,  replant  the  forest  land  laid  bare.     But 


this  is  seldom  done,  most  deposits  are  forfeited,  and  only 

14  per  cent,  is  replanted.    Forest  fires  are  a  frequent  calamity  ; 

hey  are  caused  mainly  by  the  burning  of  the  grass  in  spring 

d  by  sparks  from  engines.     The  latter  cause,  coupled  with 

e  hewing  of  wood  to  meet  the  needs  of  the  railway,  means 

t  there  is  never  much  forest  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the 

ines.     Severe  storms  also  do  much  damage  where  the  wood 

is  thin. 

The  Western  Provinces. — The  most  recent  figures  for  the 

State  forests  in  the  western  provinces  are  as  follows  : 



Area  :  acres. 

Suitable  Forest 
Soil :  acres. 

Tomsk    . 












In  the  Tobolsk  Government  the  best  timber  is  thought  to 
be  in  the  valleys  of  the  Tavda,  Tura,  and  Pelim  ;  estimates 
differ  considerably,  but  the  more  sanguine  assign  to  these 
valleys  about  27,000,000  acres^of  good  timber.  In  Tomsk 
the  forest  belt  is  in  the  north  part  ;  the  south  part  is  half 
forestless,  but  the  Kuznetsk  and  Mariinsk  districts  and  the 
Altai  mountain  region  are  forested,  though  in  many  parts 
the  forest  is  not  at  all  dense.  In  the  mountainous  parts  it  is 
very  difficult  to  cut  the  timber  because  of  the  precipitous 
places  in  which  it  grows.  When  felled,  it  is  apt  to  fall  into 
ravines  below,  not  only  being  lost  itself,  but  smashing  other 
trees  in  its  fall.  There  is  no  possibility  of  raftage  on  the 
rivers  there  because  of  their  swiftness.  Some  timber  is 
transported  by  camels  across  the  Kirghiz  steppe.  But  on 
the  steppes  and  in  considerable  parts  of  the  Governments 
of  Tomsk  and  Tobolsk,  the  amount  of  forest  is  not  enough 
for  local  needs. 

Timber  trees  in  Western  Siberia. — The  principal  woods  of 
Western  Siberia  are  white  cedar  or  cembra  pine,  pine,  spruce, 
fir,  larch,  oak,  ash,  and  birch  (see  Chapter  III).  Of  these 
white  cedar  and  larch  are  most  valued  for  building,  larch 


being  especially  used  for  boat-building,  also  for  beams  am 
telegraph  poles.  Birch  is  used  for  fuel  and  building,  and  th( 
birch  spinneys  in  the  neighbourhood  of  towns  rapidly 
disappear.  The  roofs  of  the  houses  of  peasant  and  native 
are  made  of  birch  bark.  Siberian  cedar  is  of  value  because 
of  its  softness  ;  it  can  be  used  for  certain  kinds  of  furniture 
and  pattern  work,  and  it  is  worth  exporting  despite  the  cost. 

Timber  Trade  in  the  West. — The  most  important  place  for 
the  timber  export  trade  in  western  Siberia  is  Tyumen  ;  an 
enterprising  sawmill  proprietor  from  Arkhangel  used  to  send, 
timber  to  Kotlas  by  rail;  thence  it  went  to  Arkhangel  by 
steamer  and  so  to  London.  The  wood  suffers  from  '  bluej 
mould  '  on  the  voyage,  and  so  does  not  fetch  as  high  a  price  in  • 
England  as  would  be  anticipated,  and  the  transport  is  very 
dear.  It  is  difficult  during  the  short  summer  to  bring  pine- 
trunks  to  the  saw  so  dry  that  they  avoid  turning  blue.  Only 
first-class  timber  can  be  exported  because  of  the  cost  of  trans- 
port to  Arkhangel  and  Petrograd  by  rail,  and  the  export  by  sea 
by  the  Kara  Sea  route  is  negligible. 

Eastern  Provinces. — The  forest  areas  of  eastern  Siberia  have 
been  very  imperfectly  surveyed.  Little  reliance  can  be  placed 
upon  official  estimates,  for  there  is  a  general  tendency  to 
exaggerate  the  wood  resources  of  the  country.  Thus  in  1908 
a  commission  gave  the  wooded  area  of  the  Yakutsk  Province 
as  540,000,000  acres.  Such  an  estimate  must  include  very 
large  treeless  spaces.  In  Yeniseisk,  Irkutsk,  Transbaikal,  and 
Yakutsk  the  absence  of  suitable  waterways  makes  the  develop- 
ment of  a  lumbering  industry  out  of  the  question,  unless  the 
northern  sea-route  from  the  mouth  of  the  Yenisei  can  be  opened 
to  regular  navigation.  There  is,  however,  considerable  local 
consumption.  The  supplies  of  fire-wood  in  the  immediate 
neighbourhood  of  the  large  towns  and  the  principal  mining- 
centres  are,  to  a  great  extent,  exhausted.  Wood  has  to  be 
rafted  down  the  rivers,  notably  the  Yenisei  and  the  Angara. 
The  building  of  the  railway  has  greatly  increased  consumption, 
and  the  price  of  firewood  has  doubled  in  many  places.  Larch 
is  the  tree  most  used.     Very  fine  woods  of  it  are  still  found  on 


the  Yenisei,  especially  on  its  middle  reaches.  The  Sayansk 
region,  where  trees  grow  at  an  altitude  of  3,700  feet,  has 
particularly  fine  forests,  the  taiga  being  almost  impenetrable 
in  many  places. 

The  wood  in  the  north  and  north-east  is,  as  a  rule,  of  poor 
quality.  There  is  good  timber,  mainly  larch,  fir,  spruce,  and 
birch,  in  Sakhalin,  but  there  is  no  suitable  harbour  for  export- 
ing it.  Nor  would  it  be  possible  to  find  a  profitable  market 
for  the  timber  in  the  valley  of  the  River  Kamchatka,  the 
only  place  in  the  Kamchatka  Peninsula  where  it  does  well. 
A  certain  quantity  of  timber  and  firewood  is  annually  rafted 
down  the  Lena,  and  a  little  also  down  the  Kolima  and  Yana. 
In  spite  of  the  wide  extent  of  the  forests,  the  price  is  high 
owing  to  the  scarcity  of  labour  and  the  exorbitant  rate  of 

Lumber  Industry  in  the  East. — The  Siberian  lumber  industry 
is  at  present  confined  to  the  Amur  and  Maritime  Provinces. 
It  is  still  in  its  infancy.  The  extent  of  the  area  under  timber 
is  uncertain,  and  it  is  impossible  to  give  exact  figures,  as 
much  of  it  is  unsurveyed.  A  report  for  1913  gives  the  total 
area  of  forest  land  in  the  far  east  as  110,052,000  acres,  of 
which  30,840,000  are  in  the  Amur  Province  and  71,463,000 
in  the  Primorsk.  In  the  Amur  Province  five-sixths  of  this 
area  is  Government  property,  and  most  of  the  rest  belongs 
to  the  Cossacks  ;  in  the  Maritime  ten-elevenths  of  the  area 
belongs  to  the  Government.  The  forests  cannot  compare  with 
those  of  North  America  in  density.  They  generally  lie  along 
the  sea-coast  or  in  the  river -valleys.  The  best  timber  districts 
in  the  Maritime  Province  are  Nikolaevsk,  with  33,000,000 
acres,  Khabarovsk  with  14,245,000  acres,  and  the  lower  Amur 
with  12,150,000  acres. 

Concessions. — The  government  forests  are  under  the  Depart- 
ment of  Domains,  with  head-quarters  at  Khabarovsk.  Areas 
that  are  for  sale  are  knocked  down  to  the  highest  bidder, 
who  is  obliged  to  deposit  the  royalty  on  the  number  of  trees 
to  be  felled  for  one  year.  Felling  tickets  to  cut  small 
quantities  of  timber  may  be  obtained  from  local  authorities. 


Hitherto  forest  grants  have  been  limited  to  four  years,  but 
the  term  will  almost  certainly  be  extended  to  twelve,  as 
a  concession  of  four  years  was  found  too  short  for  profitable 

Royalties. — A  royalty  is  levied  on  all  timber.  It  is  calcu- 
lated on  the  cubic  measurement  of  the  logs  sold,  and  varies 
according  to  the  size  and  kind  of  timber.  Formerly  con- 
cessions lying  more  than  from  6|  to  10  miles  from  a  railway, 
a  navigable  river,  or  a  bay,  paid  at  a  lower  rate.  Now,  however, 
the  tax  is  uniformy  and  it  is  hoped  that  this  change  will  help 
to  extend  the  range  of  forest-work  and  thus  increase  the 
revenue,  which  fell  considerably  short  of  the  expenditure. 
But  the  absence  of  roads  makes  it  unprofitable  to  fell  timber 
at  any  distance  from  the  rivers.  Owing  to  the  high  railway 
rates  only  10  or  12  per  cent,  of  this  can  be  profitably  exported. 

The  Rivers  and  the  Timber  Trade. — The  Amur  and  its  tribu- 
taries provide  an  ideal  artery  for  timber -rafts  during  the 
summer  months,  and  when  the  suggested  harbour  improve- 
ments are  carried  out  at  Nikolaevsk,  it  should  afford  a  good 
outlet  for  the  trade  in  spite  of  the  shortness  of  the  open  season. 
Export  on  a  large  scale  is  at  present  hampered  by  the  poor 
harbours  and  the  length  of  time  during  which  the  rivers  are 
frozen,  as  well  as  by  the  difficulty  of  procuring  labour. 

Present  State  of  the  Trade. — So  unfavourable  were  the  economic 
and  labour  conditions  in  1912  that  only  12  out  of  106  con- 
cessions were  taken  up,  and  only  17  firms  instead  of  the 
usual  20  or  30  were  engaged  in  the  trade.  A  recent  forest- 
congress  made  the  following  suggestions  : 

1.  The  prohibition  of  the  import  of  Manchurian  wood  for 
the  railways. 

2.  A  duty  on  all  Manchurian  wood. 

3.  A  minimum  tariff  for  the  export  of  wood  by  the  Ussuri 

4.  Better  naming  and  classification  of  timber. 

5.  Free  choice  of  labour.  This  means  in  practice  the  right 
to  employ  Chinese.      * 

The   enforcement  of    the  first  recommendation  would  do 


little  good  because  the  railways  use  mainly  hard  wood — oak, 
larch,  and  birch — whereas  the  Priamur  produces  chiefly  soft 

(wood,  such  as  pine,  fir,  lime. 
Classification  of  timber. — The  kedr  or  white  cedar  is  the  only 
tree  at  present  in  such  demand  that  it  is  cut  in  large  quantities. 
The  best  forests  in  the  Maritime  Province  are  found  near  the 
sources  of  the  Iman  and  Khor.  The  grain  is  much  finer  than 
in  Manchuria.  The  average  of  square  logs  is  19  inches,  the 
maximum  28  inches.  In  Vladivostok  it  fetches  from  l\d.  to 
8d.  per  cubic  foot,  but  from  60  to  70  per  cent,  of  this  represents 
railway  freight.  In  the  harbours  of  the  Maritime  Province 
the  cost  is  from  5§d  to  6^.  alongside  vessel.  Most  of  the 
best  goes  to  Great  Britain. 

Larch  suitable  for  use  under  water  or  for  telegraph-posts 
is  to  be  had  throughout  the  northern  regions  of  the  Priamur. 
It  costs  about  5d.  to  5\d.  alongside  vessel.  Larch,  fir  and 
spruce,  with  some  birch  and  aspen,  make  up  the  northern 
forests.  The  price  may  be  given  as  4^.  to  4fd.  on  board. 
Oak  and  ash  of  moderate  quality  are  found  in  many  places, 
but  are  used  only  for  firewood.  The  oak  is  said  to  be  rich  in 
tannin.  The  oak  in  the  interior  of  the  Maritime  Province  is 
of  better  quality. 

The  pitch  pine  (Picea  ayanensis)  is  fairly  close-grained,  white, 

|  and  very  light,  and  is  exported  in  large  quantities  to  Australia. 

Excellent  yellow  pine  is  found  in  the  very  large  forest  between 

i  Blagovyeshchensk  and  Chita,  and  also  along  the  Zeya  and  the 

Bureya.     It  is  at  present  quite  untouched,  but  the  cost  of 

i  cutting  and  rafting  makes  it  doubtful  whether  it  could  be 

delivered  at  Nikolaevsk  for  5\d.  per  cubic  foot,  as  suggested. 

In  any  case  only  the  higher  grades  of  wood,  from  18  to  20 
per  cent,  of  the  total  output,  are  suitable  for  export  to  Europe. 
The  Government  takes  most  of  the  remainder. 

Home  Consumption. — The  local  needs  are  considerable. 
The  railway  and  the  steamers  take  more  and  more  every 
year.  A  large  quantity  of  timber  is  annually  floated  down 
the  Zeya  and  the  Bureya,  especially  to  Zeya-Pristan,  Blago- 
vyeshchensk, and  other  stations,  for  use  in  the  mining  camps 


or  on  the  railway.  Moreover,  the  capture  of  the  Amur  fishing 
industry  by  the  Russians  from  the  Japanese  has  greatly 
increased  the  demand  for  wood  for  packing  purposes,  and 
a  certain  amount  is  needed  for  match-making.  There  is  no: 
attempt  at  reafforestation. 

Exports. — The  export  trade  is  growing  steadily  and  the  tar 
industry  developing.  The  total  amount  of  timber  exported! 
from  the  Priamur  in  1910  was  1,617,650  cubic  feet,  in  1912, 
2,272,570  cubic  feet.  Vladivostok  is  still  the  chief  timber? 
port,  though  the  fact  that  the  timber  must  be  brought  there 
by  rail  is  against  it.  In  1912  more  than  half  the  timber  was 
exported  from  Vladivostok,  687,548  cubic  feet  being  sent  to 
Great  Britain,  316,624  cubic  feet  to  Japan,  37,070  cubic  feet 
to  China,  51,997  cubic  feet  to  Korea,  and  only  1,545  cubic  feet 
to  Russia.  By  far  the  greater  part  of  the  wood  exported  was 
kedr,  except  to  Japan,  which  took  307,204  cubic  feet  of  aspen 
for  matches.  Vladivostok  is  also  the  natural  outlet  for  the 
excellent  Manchurian  timber,  and  a  considerable  portion  of 
the  exports  come  from  over  the  border.  The  cost  of  sending 
the  timber  by  rail  and  the  absence  of  adequate  docks  are 
serious  drawbacks  to  Vladivostok.  But  preparations  are 
being  made  for  building  a  new  timber-port,  where  four 
vessels  can  load  at  once. 

Imperatorskaya  Bay,  whence  the  Oriental  Timber  Company 
sends  over  a  million  cubic  feet  of  timber  (25  per  cent,  larch, 
75  per  cent,  fir)  annually  to  Australia,  is  the  only  other  timber- 
port  of  note.  Exports  to  Australia  are  likely  to  increase 
steadily,  for  Australia  is  looking  to  Siberia  to  supply  her  with 
the  soft  woods  which  her  own  forests  do  not  produce  in  suffi- 
cient quantities.  This  company  also  sends  planks  and  furni- 
ture wood  to  the  British  Isles,  ash  to  Japan,  and  logs  and 
boards  to  Denmark.  In  1911,  however,  110,000  cubic  feet  of 
white  pine  were  exported  from  Ternei  Bay  to  Australia,  a 
374,000  cubic  feet  of  pit  props  were  dispatched  from  Olgi  B 
In  the  same  year  timber  was  exported  from  Posiet  Bay  for  t 
first  time,  to  the  amount  of  about  100,000  cubic  feet.  Tyutik 
Bay  also  plays  a  small  part  in  the  timber-trade. 

;  of 


The  Governor-General  Gondatti  was  fully  alive  to  the  im- 
portance of  the  industry,  and  on  the  completion  of  the  Amur 
[Railway  he  proposed  to  agitate  for  a  branch  line  from  the 
[Jssuri  Railway  to  Imperatorskaya  Bay  and  Olgi  Bay. 

Aspen,  which  is  found  everywhere,  is  sent  to  Japan  for 
match-making,  but  there  is  no  reason  why  the  industry 
should  not  be  established  in  Siberia.  The  oak  of  good  quality, 
but  small  dimensions,  which  grows  in  some  parts  of  the 
interior  of  the  Maritime  Province  in  small  quantities,  is 
beginning  to  be  exported. 

With  better  management  the  Priamur  forests  should  be  able 
to  supply  China  with  much  of  the  timber  she  now  imports 
from  Japan  and  the  United  States. 


The  annual  turnover  of  the  sawmills  in  Siberia  is  about 
£300,000.  The  principal  ones  in  western  Siberia  are  at  Tobolsk 
Tyumen,  Omsk,  Novo-Nikolaevsk,  and  Tomsk,  with  others 
serving  a  smaller  radius  at  Barnaul  and  Biisk.  The  great  saw- 
mills at  Novo-Nikolaevsk  deal  principally  with  wood  from  the 
neighbourhood  of  the  Ob,  between  Barnaul  and  the  railway. 
The  wood  is  cut  into  logs  of  21  feet.  The  best  wood  has 
a  diameter  of  from  12  to  16  in.  ;  trunks  are  found  with 
a  diameter  of  35  in.,  but  in  that  case  the  heart  is  no  longer 
good.  In  big  sawmills  that  work  day  and  night  as  many 
as  20,000  trunks  are  sawn  through  in  the  year  at  each  frame. 
The  railway  greatly  stimulated  the  amount  of  sawmill  work, 
for  much  of  the  wood  was  used  on  it,  and  it  provided  means 
of  transport.    Sawmills  are  usually  lit  with  electric  light. 

In  the  town  of  Irkutsk  the  sawmill  industry  is  consider- 
ably developed.  The  wood  comes  from  Lake  Baikal  and  the 
valleys  of  the  Angara  and  Irkut.  Logs  are  sent  even  to 

Blagovyeshchensk,  where  there  is  a  prosperous  sawmill 
industry,  is  the  centre  of  the  timber  trade  on  the  Amur. 
The  Government  has  already  established  three  mills  of  Swedish 
type  on  the  north  bank  of  the  Amur,  and  has  taken  over 


another  at  Sviyagino  on  the  Ussuri  Railway.    It  also  proposes*' 
to  build  a  large  mill  of  the  latest  American  pattern,  but  it 
has  not  yet  selected  the  site.    At  Alexandrovsk  in  Sakhalin 
there  is   a  government   sawmill  supplying    local    demands/* 
In  1912  the  sawmills  in  the  Amur  and  Maritime  Provinces] 
and    Sakhalin    numbered    62,    with    an    annual    output    of 
2,050,000  logs. 

Wood  Industries 

The  manufacture  of  veneer  and  three-ply  in  the  neighbour- 
hood of  Vladivostok  is  steadily  increasing.  Several  factories, 
for  the  making  of  barrels  for  the  Amur  fishing  industry  have1 
been  established  in  and  round  Vladivostok. 

At  Spasskaya  (Yevgenevka),  on  the  Ussuri  Railway,  a 
factory  exists  for  the  chemical  treatment  of  wood  and  the 
production  of  turpentine,  tar,  wood  alcohol,  vinegar,  resin,  and 


Iron — Copper — Gold — Silver — Zinc  and  Lead — Platinum — Asbestos — 
Graphite — Mica — Petroleum — Other  Metallic  Ores — Coal — Salt — Precious 
Stones  and  Building  Materials. 

The  mineral  resources  of  Siberia,  especially  of  the  east, 
are  very  little  known.  The  merest  beginning  has  been  made 
with  their  development.  But  they  will  undoubtedly  take  the 
first  place  in  attracting  much-needed  capital  to  the  country 
in  the  near  future,  especially  to  the  remoter  regions. 


The  iron  deposits  in  the  Urals  are  second  only  to  those  of 
south  Russia  in  the  part  they  play  in  the  iron  industry  of  the 
empire.  The  output  of  pig-iron  from  the  Urals  in  1913  was 
896,817  tons.  There  were  75  iron  works,  including  13  belong- 
ing to  the  Government,  at  that  time  active  in  the  province. 
The  output  has  fallen  off  somewhat  during  the  war. 

In  western  Siberia  the  railway  has  proved  fatal  to  such 
attempts  as  have  been  made  to  establish  an  iron  industry. 
The  demand  is  not  sufficient  to  support  a  large  foundry. 
The  old  mines  away  from  the  railway  cannot  now  compete 
with  the  Ural  foundries.  The  Bogoslovski  works,  for 
instance,  can  send  their  goods  into  the  heart  of  the  Ob  basin 
on  their  own  steamers  by  the  Tavda  and  the  Irtish.  The 
Tomsk  region  perhaps  offers  the  best  prospects  for  the  estab- 
lishment of  a  successful  iron  industry  now  that  the  Altai 
Railway  is  open.  On  the  Telbes,  a  tributary  of  the  Kondoma, 
near  Kuznetsk,   are  rich   deposits   of  magnetic   ore   within 


20  miles  of  beds  of  good  coking  coal.  The  deposits  at  Gurevskoe, 
some  150  miles  to  the  north  of  these,  only  contain  inferior  ore 
and  do  not  promise  a  prosperous  future  to  the  small  foundry 
that  works  them.  All  the  Altai  beds  are  Crown  property. 
There  is  also  a  small  factory  at  Abakanskoe  in  the  Minusinsk 
region,  where  there  are  plentiful  deposits  of  ore,  but  its 
output  is  diminishing.  Some  twenty  iron  beds  have  been 
located  in  the  Kirghiz  steppes,  more  especially  near  Karkara- 
linsk.  They  have  not  yet  been  "properly  examined  and  are 
too  remote  for  profitable  working,  but  in  some  of  them  the 
percentage  of  ore  is  high  and  there  is  coal  near.  Iron  deposits 
also  exist  near  Tyumen,  from  which  the  owner  annually 
extracts  his  statutary  170  tons  by  the  most  primitive  methods 
in  order  not  to  forfeit  his  concession. 

In  eastern  Siberia  even  the  Nikolaevsk  foundry,  at  one  time 
the  largest  in  the  country,  situated  on  the  River  Oka,  30 
miles  from  Bratski-Ostrog,  in  the  neighbourhood  of  excellent 
ore,  has  been  obliged  to  close  down.  Iron  is  found  in  several 
parts  of  the  valleys  of  the  Yenisei  and  its  tributaries,  such  as 
the  Abakan  and  the  Angara  ;  in  the  valleys  of  the  upper  Lena 
and  the  Kirenga  ;  near  Misovsk  on  Lake  Baikal ;  and  on  the 
Tsagan-Khuntei  Range,  west  of  the  Khilok  valley,  near  where 
the  range  is  crossed  by  the  post-road.  In  the  Nerchinsk 
district  several  deposits  are  known,  but  they  have  been  little 
investigated.  It  is  so  plentiful  in  the  southern  regions,  which 
are  the  centres  of  the  gold  and  silver  mining,  that  the  whole 
range  there  has  been  called  iron.  The  Baleginsk  deposit 
of  magnetic  ore  supplies  the  Petrovsk  iron  works  which  are 
on  the  railway.  They  were  built  to  supply  the  needs  of  the 
Nerchinsk  Crown  lands  and  have  never  been  very  productive. 
The  machinery  is  quite  obsolete.  Hitherto  only  red  oxides 
have  been  treated.  The  deposits  are  extensive  and  there  are 
said  to  be  large  supplies  of  magnetic  ore  quite  untouched  in 
the  neighbourhood. 

Iron  is  plentiful  round  Yakutsk.  It  also  exists  in  the 
valley  of  the  Amgun,  near  the  mouth  of  the  Amur,  where  it 
should   be  capable  of  profitable  working,   round   Olgi  and 

IRON  273 

Vladimir  Bays,  as  well  as  in  the  peninsula  of  Kamchatka  and 
I  near  Due  in  Sakhalin.  A  rich  deposit  has  recently  been 
discovered  near  the  junction  of  the  Samara  and  the  Amur. 
The  irregularities  of  the  compass  between  Plastun  Bay  and 
Cape  Povorotni  point  to  the  existence  of  extensive  iron-beds 

•the  Maritime  Province. 
The  deposits  near  Vladimir  and  Olgi  Bays  are  commercially 
i  most  promising,  though  the  nearest  fuel,  the  timber  on 
the  Sikhota-Alin,  is  13  miles  away  and  Olgi  Bay  is  not  too 
good  a  harbour.  Hitherto  they  have  been  almost  unex- 
ploited,  but  now  that  the  export  of  ore  is  no  longer  prohibited, 
a  profitable  market  lies  ready  to  hand  in  Japan.  A  blast 
furnace  is  to  be  built  at  Mramorni  Point,  near  Olgi  Bay. 
Eastern  Siberia  has  till  now  been  largely  supplied  with 
pig-iron  from  Germany. 


Copper  has  been  worked  in  Siberia  from  time  immemorial. 
Prehistoric  or  Child  excavations,  as  they  are  called,  are 
frequently  found  in  the  west.  They  often  gave  the  first 
indication  of  the  presence  of  the  metal  to  the  early  prospectors. 

The  output  of  copper  in  the  Russian  Empire  rose  from 
under  10,000  tons  in  1906  to  34,300  in  1913  and  there  is  no 
reason  why  the  country  should  not  supply  its  own  needs 
at  an  early  date.  The  industry  is  protected  by  a  duty  on 
imported  copper  and  the  price  of  copper  in  Russia  is  high  in 
consequence.  The  rapid  growth  of  the  output  dates  from 
1907,  when  the  Myed  (copper)  Syndicate,  which  combined  the 
companies  and  regulates  the  trade,  came  into  existence. 

The  Urals  hold  the  first  place  ;  then  come  the  Kirghiz 
steppe  and  the  Caucasus.  These  three  regions  produce  over 
90  per  cent,  of  Russian  copper.  In  1913  the  Urals  produced 
some  16,000  tons,  the  Caucasus  9,900,  and  Siberia  5,600. 
British  capital  has  played  an  important  part  in  the  develop- 
ment of  copper-mining.  The  Kishtim  Corporation,  a  British 
concern,  produces  nearly  half  the  copper  in  the  Urals  and 


more  than  one-fifth  of  the  total  Russian  output.  It  is  the 
only  company  in  Russia  which  smelts  its  own  ore  and  refines 
it  at  its  own  works.  Next  to  the  Kishtim  rank  the  Bogoslovski 
works,  which  are  the  oldest  in  the  Urals,  having  been  founded 
by  Demidov  in  the  eighteenth  century.  There  are  other 
works  in  the  Tagilski,  Iset,  and  Sisertsk  districts.  Verkhoture 
is  a  considerable  smelting  centre. 

In  the  last  few  years  diamond  drilling,  carried  on  by  British 
firms,  has  revealed  large  bodies  of  copper-bearing  pyrites. 
The  Russians  are  adopting  this  method.  Experiments  are 
being  carried  out  at  one  of  the  Ural  works  for  saving  the 
sulphuric  gases  given  off  during  smelting. 

In  the  Kirghiz  steppe  at  least  200  outcrops  of  copper  have 
been  located,  mostly  in  the  Karkaralinsk  district.  The 
deposits  are  rich  and  coal  is  abundant.  The  absence  of 
railways  makes  it  impossible  to  work  anything  but  rich 
seams  at  a  profit.  The  Spassky  Company,  which  is  now  in 
British  hands,  and  has  recently  acquired  control  of  the 
Atbasar  works,  is  by  far  the  largest  and  most  successful 
in  this  region,  in  spite  of  the  difficulties  of  the  conditions  of 
working.  In  1914  the  output  was  4,683  tons  ;  in  1915,  3,450 
tons.  The  construction  of  the  Southern  Siberian  Railway 
should  bring  about  a  great  improvement.  There  are  also 
copper  deposits  in  the  Semipalatinsk  region. 

In  eastern  Siberia  copper  has  been  found  in  the  Minusinsk 
region,  near  Verkhne-Udinsk,  and  in  the  Argun  and  Onon 
basins,  where,  however,  the  veins  are  poor.  In  the  Maritime 
Province  there  are  deposits  near  Vladivostok  which  produced 
13  cwt.  in  1911,  as  well  as  near  Konstantinovskaya  on  the 
Suifun,  and  round  Dzhigit  Bay,  where  they  contain  as  much 
as  80  per  cent,  of  ore.  Copper-ore  has  also  been  discovered 
near  the  mouth  of  the  Kolima,  at  the  confluence  of  the  Big 
and  the  Lena,  in  the  peninsula  of  Kamchatka,  and  elsewhere. 

GOLD  275 


Gold-mining  is  steadily  declining  in  importance  in  western 

Sria,  but  in  the  east  it  is  the  one  productive  industry, 
as  done  more  to  open  up  remote  districts  than  all  the 
jration  agencies.  Nothing  but  a  gold-rush  could  bring 
about  the  sudden  rise  of  towns  like  Bodaibo  or  Zeya-Pristan. 

Extent  of  deposits. — The  extent  of  the  gold  deposits  in 
Siberia,  but  especially  in  eastern  Siberia,  is  very  imperfectly 
known.  Gold  is  found  in  the  alluvial  deposits  of  many  of  the 
rivers,  but  only  occasionally  in  sufficient  quantities  to  repay 
working  by  old-fashioned  methods.  Areas  suitable  for  dredg- 
ing extend  for  thousands  of  miles  in  the  eastern  provinces  ; 
and  if  modern  dredgers  were  employed,  the  results  would  be 
surprising.  At  present  the  chief  centres  of  the  industry  are 
the  Urals,  the  lands  which  belonged  to  the  Imperial  Cabinet  in 
the  Barguzin  and  Nerchinsk  districts,  the  Zeya  and  Bureya 
basins  and  their  neighbourhood,  the  Amgun  system  and  the 
mines  near  Lake  Chlya,  and  lastly  the  Olekminsk  and  Vitim 
goldfields  on  the  Lena.  Of  these  the  Vitim  mines  are  by  far 
the  most  important,  producing  a  quarter  of  the  total  gold 
output  of  the  Russian  Empire.  The  Lena  drainage  area  is 
said  to  contain  the  richest  alluvial  gold  district  in  the  world. 

The  principal  areas  of  gold-bearing  rocks  in  Siberia  have  been 
estimated  as*follows  : — 

sq.  miles. 

Urals         ...... 


Yenisei  and  Altai       .... 


Transbaikal       ..... 


Lena,  Vitim,  Vilyui  .... 


Amur  and  Okhotsk    .... 



This  may  be  compared  with  the  total  area  of  gold-bearing 
rocks  in  the  United  States,  including  Alaska,  of  265,000  square 

Output. — Between  1908-13  the  average  annual  output  of 
gold  in  Siberia  was  one  and  a  half  million  ounces  troy,  with 
a  marked  tendency  to  decline,  especially  in  western  Siberia. 
The  official  estimates  are  not  to  be  trusted.     The  amounts 

S  2 


received  at  the  Government  laboratories  where  the  gold  m 
smelted,  especially  in  the  east,  are  often  double  those  recorded 
and  a  good  deal  of  the  metal  never  reaches  the  laboratories 
at  all.     The  official  estimates  are  as  follows  : 



lb.  troy. 

lb.  troy. 
















Private  laboratories 



figures  for  the  Yek* 

tterinburg,   Tomsk,   and 


laboratories  for  these  years  are  not  to  hand. 

In  1913  the  eight  Government  laboratories  of  Siberia 
smelted  106,901  lb.  troy  of  gold  ore  compared  with  104,155  lb. 
in  1912.  The  increase  was  due  entirely  to  the  settling  of 
the  Lena  strike.  Bodaibo  produced  7,200  lb.  more  than  in 
the  previous  year  (1912),  when  the  output  was  24,704  lb. 

Conditions  of  working. — With  the  exception  of  Alaska, 
Siberia  is  the  least  favourably  situated  of  the  world's  gold 
centres.  Owing  to  its  climate,  work  is  only  possible  in  summer. 
Most  of  the  gold  is  found  in  places  where  the  ground  never 
really  thaws.  If  the  summer  is  dry,  there  is  not  enough  water 
for  washing  ;  if  it  is  cold  and  wet,  the  ground  does  not 
thaw  and  floods  are  troublesome.  Population  is  everywhere 
scant}^  and  roads  almost  non-existent.  The  cost  of  bringing 
machinery,  especially  in  summer,  from  the  railway  to  the 
diggings  is  almost  prohibitive,  while  the  prices  of  the  most 
ordinary  necessities  of  life  are  doubled  and  trebled. 

Concessions. — No  foreigner  may  possess  freehold  property 
in  Siberia,  and  a  special  tax  of  8  per  cent,  is  levied  on  land 
or  mining  claims  leased  to  foreigners,  who  may  not  prospect 
for  gold  within  100  versts  (66  miles)  of  the  sea-coast  of  the 
Primorsk  Province  or  of  the  shores  of  the  Sea  of  Okhotsk, 
upon  Sakhalin  or  the  adjacent  islands,  or  within  certain 
districts  of  the  Yeniseisk  Province  bordering  on  the  Chinese 

GOLD  277 

frontier.  In  this  region  foreigners  have  considerably  less 
freedom  than  Russians,  as  well  as  in  the  Cabinet  lands  in  the 
Altai  and  Nerchinsk  districts.  But  even  here  a  foreigner 
may  receive  special  permits  for  prospecting.  A  prospector 
may  stake  out  as  many  claims  as  he  likes.  One  man  has  been 
known  to  possess  over  750.  But  he  must  take  measures  for 
working  them  within  a  certain  time. 

There  is  a  large  traffic  in  worthless  claims.  The  local 
officials,  to  whom  commissions  must  be  paid,  are  often 
untrustworthy.  Much  foreign  capital  has  already  been  lost 
in  Siberian  gold-mines  and  investors  are  chary  of  risking 

The  principal  British  gold  mining  companies  in  Siberia  are 
the  Lena  Goldfields,  the  Orsk  Goldfields,  and  the  Siberian  Pro- 
prietary Mines.  The  Lena  Goldfields  held  until  1915  over 
50  per  cent,  of  the  shares  of  the  Lenskoie  Gold  Mining 
Company  of  Russia.  They  have  now  sold  the  greater  part  of 
their  holdings. 

State  of  the  Industry.— Except  in  the  Urals  and  to  some 
extent  in  the  west,  the  gold  worked  in  Siberia  is  still  almost 
entirely  alluvial.  Though  rich  quartz  deposits  are  known 
to  exist,  quartz  mining  could  only  be  profitably  carried  on 
at  a  few  places  in  the  west.  But  when  the  country  is  better 
developed  there  will  be  a  great  future  for  such  mining. 

As  the  more  accessible  placers  become  exhausted,  the 
general  tendency  is  for  large  concerns  to  supersede  small  ones. 
More  scientific  methods  are  now  essential  to  success.  Dredgers 
alone  can  work  profitably  and  they  are  not  easy  to  procure. 
The  Russians  have  little  practical  knowledge  of  mining  and 
can  only  make  the  richest  claims  pay.  The  incapacity  of  the 
Russian  engineers  and  workmen,  many  of  whom  have  never 
seen  a  dredger,  accounts  for  the  frequent  breakdowns  and 
poor  results.  When  dredging  is  regularty  established  and 
thoroughly  understood,  many  of  the  abandoned  dumps  will 
be  profitably  worked.  The  latest  methods  of  working- 
hydraulic  sluices  are  unknown  in  Siberia,  where  the  climate 
militates  against  their  introduction. 


At  present  the  Siberian  gold  industry  is  going  through  an 
unsatisfactory  period  of  transition.  The  old  methods  are  no] 
longer  adequate  and  the  new  are  only  beginning  to  be  intro- 
duced. In  1912,  57  mines  out  of  a  total  of  129,  belonging 
to  48  different  companies,  were  working  in  the  Amur  district..! 
A  committee  of  investigation  was  appointed  and  various 
suggestions  were  made  such  as  the  regulation  of  the  labour- 
supply,  the  diminution  of  taxation  and  greater  facilities  for 
credit,  as  well  as  the  throwing  open  of  the  100  verst  reserve 
along  the  coast.  Owing  to  its  accessibility,  this  region  would 
rapidly  attract  prospectors.  Between  1889  and  1909  mining 
machinery  was  imported  duty  free  and  the  abolition  of  this 
privilege  was  undoubtedly  a  blow  to  the  gold  industry.  In 
recent  years  the  Government  proposed  to  assist  it  by  voting 
large  sums  for  prospecting  and  for  building  a  number  of 

But  the  success  of  companies  with  large  capital  and  good 
machinery,  such  as  the  Lenskoie  and  the  Orsk,  shows  the  lines 
along  which  the  gold  industry  will  ultimately  develop.  It  is 
noteworthy  that  American  engineers  are  more  successful  than 
British,  who  have  gained  their  experience  in  South  Africa  and 
know  nothing  of  the  conditions  of  Russian  mining.  British 
companies  are  now  employing  them. 

Labour. — The  labour-supply  lies  at  the  root  of  the  diffi- 
culties. Railway  building  attracted  a  number  of  miners  and 
the  Government  is  doing  its  best  to  exclude  the  Chinese 
wherever  possible.  A  man  who  could  prove  that  he  had 
worked  on  the  gold-fields  was  exempted  from  military  service 
in  the  present  war.  The  life  of  the  miner  is  hard  in  the 
extreme.  He  is  as  often  as  not  obliged  to  work  in  water. 
Except  in  a  few  of  the  largest  concerns,  the  workpeople  are  not 
well  treated.  They  are  provided  with  firing  and  lodging,  but 
their  quarters  are  often  badly  overcrowded  and  invariably 
filthy.  The  managers  are  tyrannical.  The  men  are  com- 
pelled to  buy  at  the  company's  stores.  If  they  complain  or 
threaten  to  go  elsewhere,  they  are  liable  to  be  dismissed. 
It  is  true  that  a  law  of  1902  declares  that  the  labourer  is  to 

GOLD  279 

have  suitable  quarters  and  to  be  supplied  with  food  and 
clothing  at  special  rates,  which  vary  in  different  districts. 
But  the  scandals  revealed  by  the  Lenskoie  strike  show  how 
easily  these  regulations  can  be  evaded  in  the  remoter  districts. 
The  mine  stores  are  often  more  profitable  to  the  owners  than 
the  mines  themselves.  When  the  lot  of  the  Siberian  miner 
is  contrasted  with  that  of  the  well-paid,  well-fed  miners  of 

•  Alaska  gold-fields,  it  is  not  surprising  that  the  work  does 
attract  the  most  desirable  elements.  The  miners  are 
tinually  running  away.  The  building  of  the  Amur  Railway 
has  greatly  thinned  their  numbers.  The  sale  of  alcohol  is 
absolutely  prohibited,  though  a  small  quantity  is  distributed 
free  to  the  men.  But  there  is  a  large  illicit  traffic  in  liquor, 
which  the  mining  police  are  unable  to  check. 

All  gold  visible  to  the  naked  eye  is  the  property  of  the 
workman  who  discovers  it  and  he  receives  75  per  cent,  of  its 
value.  This  unprofitable  arrangement  has  been  adopted  to 
discourage  theft.  In  their  spare  time  the  men  may  wash 
for  themselves,  on  condition  that  they  sell  their  gold  to  the 
companies  at  a  fixed  price.  Indeed,  many  companies 
habitually  leave  all  but  the  richest  ground  to  be  worked  by 
private  individuals,  generally  Chinese  or  Koreans  in  the 
eastern  provinces,  who  pay  a  rent  of  gold  to  the  owners  and 
sell  them  whatever  additional  gold  they  may  procure  at  fixed 
rates.  This  arrangement  is  very  profitable  to  the  companies. 
But  there  is,  of  course,  a  large  ilLcit  gold  trade  for  which  the 
sellers  of  contraband  plcohol  are  largely  responsible.  It  is 
smuggled  over  the  border  by  Chinese,  who  also  smuggle  in 
Chinese  spirits.  At  a  recent  mining  congress  it  was  said  that 
in  the  Transbaikal,  where  most  of  the  gold-mining  is  in  the 
hands  of  Chinese  and  Koreans,  they  carry  away  seven  times 
as  much  as  they  declare.  This  may  well  be  an  exaggeration, 
but  it  throws  much  light  on  the  prevailing  state  of  affairs. 

Urals  and  Western  Siberia. — Gold-mining  is  on  the  decline 
in  these  districts.  As  everywhere  else  in  Siberia,  dredgers 
are  becoming  more  and  more  necessary  for  successful  placer- 
mining,  but  the  Ural  fields  are  held  to  be  of  low  grade.     In  the 


more  accessible  districts  quartz -mining  is  steadily  superseding 
alluvial  mining.  In  the  Urals  gold  procured  by  quartz- 
crushing  and  saved  by  chemical  processes  already  exceeds  the,' 
gold  obtained  by  washing.  In  1913  the  Urals  produced 
110,000  oz.  troy  of  gold,  worth  £399,208.  The  Orenburg  and^ 
Yekaterinburg  districts  are  the  richest.  The  mines  in  the 
Miyas  district  still  hold  the  first  place  in  the  Urals.  The  SissertS 
Company  and  the  Kishtim  Corporation  both  obtain  gold  as] 
a  by-product  in  their  copper-mines. 

In  the  Semipalatinsk  Government  there  is  considerable 
activity  in  gold-mining,  but  here  too  placer-mining  is  giving 
way  to  quartz -mining.  The  quartz  veins  are  especially  rich 
in  the  neighbourhood  of  Ust-Kamenogorsk,  less  so  round 
Lake  Zaisan.  Near  Ust-Kamenogorsk  the  quartz  yields 
nearly  5  to  15  dwt.  to  the  ton,  but  the  gravel  produces  barely 
5  grains  to  the  ton.  Hence,  in  spite  of  the  cheapness  of 
labour,  placer-mining  can  hardly  pay.  The  richest  mines  lie 
40-46  miles  south-west  of  Ust-Kamenogorsk.  As  this  district 
is  within  the  zone  closed  to  foreigners,  they  can  only  prospect 
there  by  special  permission  and  the  native  owners  are  fully 
aware  of  the  value  of  their  holdings.  There  is  a  good  steppe 
road  from  the  mines  to  Ust-Kamenogorsk. 

The  gold-industry  in  the  Tomsk  district  is  in  full  decline. 
Even  the  introduction  of  hydraulic  machinery  has  failed  to 
revive  placer-mining  in  the  Altai.  A  British  company  is 
experimenting  in  mining  for  gold  in  the  old  cabinet  silver- 
mines  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Zmyeinogorsk  in  the  same 
region,  and  if  it  succeeds  it  will  certainly  extend  its  operations. 
The  only  prosperous  gold-mining  region  is  that  of  the  Mariinsk 
taiga.  The  first  dredger  in  western  Siberia  was  established 
here.  The  output  of  placer-mining  is  falling  off,  but  rich  veins 
have  been  discovered  in  the  quartz  of  the  Berekul  mine. 
These  are  being  worked,  and,  according  to  official  returns, 
they  yielded  in  1904  about  1  oz.  troy  to  the  ton.  The  veins 
had  not  then  been  thoroughly  examined.  The  mines  are 
well  situated,  being  45  miles  from  the  railway  and  65  from 

GOLD  281 

Yeniseisk  Province. — In  the  south-west  corner,  near  the 
I  River  Abakan,  are  several  mines.  Of  these  the  Bogom- 
I  Darovanni,  fitted  with  thoroughly  modern  machinery,  is  very 
rich.  It  is  one  of  the  few  profitable  reef  gold  mines  in  Siberia 
and  it  produces  some  17,100  oz.  troy  of  gold  annually,  a 
quarter  of  the  amount  being  obtained  by  the  cyanide 

The  introduction  of  dredgers  has  revived  the  gold-industry 
in  the  Yenisei  basin,  which  was  the  oldest  in  Siberia.  The 
southern  portion  of  the  district  lies  between  the  Pit  and  the 
Angara  Rivers  ;  the  northern  is  to  the  east  of  the  Yenisei,  in 
the  upper  basins  of  the  Teya  and  the  Kalami,  tributaries  of  the 
Stony  Tunguska.  The  pay-streak  is  from  2  ft.  4  in.  to  8  ft., 
I  the  overburden  from  2  ft.  4  in.  to  24  ft.  The  district  is 
remote,  but  the  mine  owners  refuse  to  combine  to  build  a  road 
|  through  the  taiga,  though  the  cost  of  transport  is  at  present 
very  heavy.  Many  of  the  mines  in  the  south  are  connected  by 

Irkutsk  Province. — There  are  no  mines  of  importance  south 
of  the  railway.  The  Olekma-Vitim  system  embraces  all  but 
a  negligible  quantity  of  the  mining. 

The  Bodaibo  district  is  the  most  important  gold-mining 
centre  in  the  Russian  empire.  The  powerful  Lenskoie  Com- 
pany, formerly  controlled  by  British  interests,  has  a  virtual 
monopoly.  It  produces  some  13  tons  of  gold  a  year,  which 
is  a  quarter  the  annual  output  of  the  whole  empire.  The  gold 
is  alluvial.  The  pay-gravel  lies  from  50  to  150  ft.  under  the 
surface  and  the  streaks  are  from  4  ft.  8  in.  to  9  ft.  4  in.  thick. 
The  over-burden  is  peat.  The  placers  can  only  be  worked 
with  considerable  capital.  Wood  is  scarce  in  the  neighbour- 
hood and  the  subsoil  water  requires  careful  regulation.  The 
yield  of  gold  is  from  82  to  205  grains  to  the  ton  of  gravel. 
About  4,000  men  are  employed  here  and  up-to-date  machinery 
is  used.  The  transport  difficulty  adds  greatly  to  the  working 
expenses,  but  there  is  now  a  light  railway  15  miles  long  from 
Bodaibo  to  the  Vitim.  It  costs  Is.  to  bring  12  lb.  of  goods 
from  Irkutsk  to  Bodaibo  alone.     Hence  the  mining  companies 


are  among  the  chief  advocates  of  the  building  of  a  railway  to  J 
the  Lena. 

Most  of  the  tributaries  of  the  Vitim  are  thought  to  contain 
gold,  but  they  have  been  very  imperfectly  explored. 

The  Olekminsk  mines  were  formerly  the  richest  in  Siberia,* 
but  since  the  best  placers  have  become  exhausted  they  have' 
been  thrown  into  the  shade  by  the  mines  on  the  Vitim.     The 
River  Bo^hoi-Patom,  one  of  the  richest  centres  on  the  Lena, 
is  said  to  have  yielded  14,000  oz.  troy  of  gold  in  1911  and  the 
whole  of  its  banks  have  been  staked  out  in  claims.     The: 
building  of  the  Lena  Railway  would  undoubtedly  initiate  a 
new  period  of  prosperity  for  this  region. 

Gold  has  been  found  on  the  upper  reaches  of  the  Vilyui 
and  its  tributaries.  The  gold-yield  at  Chodinski,  some  80  or 
90  miles  above  Krestyatskaya,  is  said  to  be  large.  Gold  also 
exists  on  the  upper  reaches  of  the  Nai,  a  tributary  of  the 

The  government  assaying  and  gold-smelting  laboratory  is 
at  Bodaibo. 

Transbaikal. — There  are  two  important  centres,  Barguzin 
and  Nerchinsk.  The  Barguzin  goldfields  lie  in  the  Barguzin 
valley  and  near  the  sources  of  the  Vitim,  but  of  recent  years 
the  output  shows  a  considerable  falling  off.  Though  the  gold- 
yield  is  sometimes  41  to  82  grains  to  the  ton,  the  veins  are 
very  small  and  there  is  a  quantity  of  silver  mixed  with  the 
gold.  Belgian  engineers  are  trying  the  experiment  of  thawing 
the  ground  here  by  a  process  of  steam  heating. 

Gold  is  found  almost  everywhere  in  the  crown  lands  in  the 
Nerchinsk  district,  except  in  the  south-east  and  north-east. 
The  mines  possess  the  same  characteristics  as  those  round 
Barguzin.  British  companies  have  been  experimenting  lateh 
with  a  view  to  leasing.  Attempts  to  introduce  the  mos 
modern  machinery  have  not  been  very  successful  owing 
climatic  difficulties.  The  output  of  the  Transbaikal  was  aboi 
171,000  oz.  troy  in  1909. 

Amur  Province. — For  mining  purposes  the  Amur  Provin< 
is  divided  into  two  districts,  the  Bureya  and  the  Amur.    At 

GOLD  283 

present  the  former  is  the  more  important.  In  1911  these 
districts  produced  £443,830  of  gold,  of  which  five-ninths  came 
from  the  Bureya.  The  Amur  goldfields  are  of  far  greater 
extent  than  those  of  the  Lena.  Alluvial  gold  has  been  found 
throughout  the  basins  of  the  Zeya  and  its  tributaries,  and  in 
the  Bureya  basin,  especially  upon  its  tributary  the  Niman. 
New  deposits  were  discovered  during  the  building  of  the 
western  section  of  the  Amur  Railway. 

Most  of  the  Amur  gold  is  so  fine,  yielding  from  0-04867  to 
0-13114  oz.  troy  to  the  ton  of  gravel,  that  only  the  best 
machinery  could  make  mining  profitable.  A  quarter  of  the 
diggings  worked  yield  over  40  grains  of  gold  to  the  ton,  but 
the  pay-gravel  is  often  less  than  2  ft.  4  in.  deep,  sometimes 
even  less  than  7  inches.  When  the  yield  is  less  than  40  grains 
to  the  ton,  and  the  pay-strata  are  less  than  2  ft.  4  in.  thick, 
profit  is  very  doubtful.  These  strata  often  lie  under  an  over- 
burden of  9  ft.  or  more,  and  in  some  places,  notably  on  the 
Niman,  the  mining  is  underground. 

Holdings  are  often  very  large  in  the  Amur  Province.  The 
Upper  Amur  Company  owns  goldfields  in  the  Rivers  Zeya, 
Zhalinda,  Gilui,  and  Aldan.  At  least  a  third  of  those  worked 
are  sub-leased.  Little  machinery  is  used.  The  Orsk  Company 
has  claims  on  the  lower  Amur. 

Zeya-Pristan,  with  a  government  gold  laboratory,  is  the 
flourishing  capital  of  the  Zeya  gold  industry.  Blagovyesh- 
chensk,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Zeya,  also  possesses  a  laboratory. 

The  opening  of  the  Amur  Railway  should  greatly  benefit 
gold-mining  in  this  region. 

Maritime  Province  and  Kamchatka. — The  Primorsk  region 
is  the  wealthiest.  In  the  Amgun  basin,  near  Kerbinski,  the 
mining  is  all  surface  mining.  The  pay -gravel  is  from  4  ft.  8  in. 
to  7  ft.  thick,  the  over-burden  3  ft.  6 in.  to  14  ft.  Owing  to 
the  nearness  of  the  coast  and  the  scarcity  of  labour  machinery 
is  much  more  used.  But  difficulties  of  communication  and 
the  dearness  of  food  make  a  high  yield  of  gold  necessary  for 
success.  The  Amgun  mines  were  long  worked  at  a  loss.  The 
Orsk  mines,  owned  by  a  British  company,  situated  on  Lake 


Ohlya,  near  Nikolaevsk,  are  now  the  most  successful  in  the| 
neighbourhood.     Two  powerful  electric  bucket -dredgers  are 
working,  and  the  profits,  even  during  the  war,  have  steadily  J 
increased.     In  1912,  21  placers  were  being  worked  here,  and 
the  mines  were  responsible  for  a  quarter  of  the  £216,604  of 
gold  produced  by  the  province. 

The  Ussuri  district  comprises  the  southern  part  of  thel 
province,    and   here   Chinese   and   Koreans   have   long   ago 
exhausted  the  more  accessible  deposits.     In  1911,  £6,818  of  \ 
gold  was  produced,  in  1912  only  £1,916.    Recently,  however,  \ 
placers  have  been  discovered  on  the  Iman,  which  are  estimated 
to  yield  £1  per  ton  of  gravel.     A  small  quartz  vein  on  Askold 
Island  near  Vladivostok  was  profitably  worked  for  some  years. 

The  official  gold-smelting  laboratory  for  the  Maritime 
Province  is  at  Nikolaevsk. 

Gold  is  known  to  exist  at  many  places  on  the  Sea  of  Okhotsk, 
and  is  said  to  exist  in  the  centre  of  Sakhalin.  A  gold-bearing 
belt  is  believed  to  extend  for  some  120  miles  along  the  Okhotsk 
coast  between  the  Uda  and  Ayan.  Rich  deposits  are  reported  in 
the  Anadir  region,  in  the  Chukchee  Peninsula  near  Cape  Dezh- 
neva,  and  on  the  River  Volshaya  in  the  Anadir  region.  The 
Volshaya  mines  have  remained  idle  since  1907,  but  the  deposits 
are  said  to  contain  about  240  grains  of  ore  to  the  ton  of  gravel, 
and  might  therefore  be  profitably  worked,  in  spite  of  the 
remoteness  of  the  region  and  the  absence  of  wood.  A  large 
expedition  was  sent  out  in  1914  with  a  view  to  reopening  them. 


The  output  of  silver  in  Russia  reached  its  zenith  in  1887, 
with  33,800  lb.  troy.  In  1910  the  output  was  19,476  lb.  : 
Urals,  13,356  lb. ;  Caucasus,  5,508  ;  Altai,  612.  The  fall  in 
the  value  of  silver,  the  discovery  of  rich  goldfields,  and  the 
labour  difficulties,  account  for  the  diminution.  In  the  Urals 
silver  is  produced  chiefly  as  a  by-product,  notably  in  the 
Kishtim,  Blagodat,  and  Verkhne-Iset  mines.  There  are  many 
other  deposits.  Over  3,000  deposits  are  known  to  exist  in  the 
Altai,  of  which  only  some  30  have  been  worked.     The  Zirya- 

GOLD  285 

novskoe  mines  are  the  richest,  but  even  they  are  almost  shut 
down.  There  are  others  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Zmyeino- 
gorsk.  The  silver-works  in  the  Kirghiz  steppes  are  very 
primitive.  In  the  south-eastern  portion  of  the  Nerchinsk 
Crown  lands  500  deposits  of  silver-lead  ore  are  known  to  exist. 
The  richest  are  the  Kadainskoe,  on  a  tributary  of  the  upper 
Argun.  Silver  is  also  found  in  the  zinc  mines  of  Tyutikha  Bay 
(see  below). 

Zinc  and  Lead 

The  zinc  and  silver-lead  mines  near  Tyutikha  Bay  in  the 
Priamur  have  been  most  successfully  worked.  In  1911  the 
output  was  24,030  tons  of  zinc,  4,451  tons  of  silver-lead,  and 
72  tons  of  copper  ore.  In  1912,  25,000  tons  of  zinc  were  sent 
to  Europe,  mostly  to  Antwerp,  to  be  smelted.  But  the  late 
Governor-General,  Gondatti,  insisted  that  henceforth  the 
smelting  should  be  done  on  the  spot,  and  a  smelting  furnace 
was  consequently  built.  The  Tyutikha  mines  lie  24 J  miles 
from  Tyutikha  Bay,  with  which  they  are  connected  by  a 
railway  of  60  centimetres  gauge.  The  ore  contains  nearly 
50  per  cent,  zinc,  little  silver,  and  about  5  per  cent,  copper. 
Other  claims  are  being  taken  up  in  the  neighbourhood.  The 
Tyutikha  company  has  just  located  new  deposits  near  Im- 
peratorskaya  Bay. 

Zinc  and  lead  ores  are  being  mined  in  the  Altai  by  the  Irtish 
Corporation.  From  Riderski  mine  the  ore  is  taken  by  a  3-ft. 
railway,  70  miles  long,  to  Ust-Kamenogorsk,  whence  it  is 
shipped  by  the  Irtish  to  the  smelting  works  at  the  Ekibas-tuse 
coalfield  near  Pavlodar. 

Zinc  is  also  said  to  exist  in  the  Yakutsk  Province.  Lead-ore 
has  been  found  at  Ust-Orlinskaya  on  the  Lena,  where  the 
content  is  said  to  be  81-75  per  cent,  of  pure  lead.  Silver- 
bearing  lead  also  exists  in  the  Altai  and  in  the  Nerchinsk 
district,  but  with  the  present  means  of  communication  it  is 
not  likely  to  be  exploited. 

In  1915  eastern  Siberia  produced  about  48,300  tons  of  lead, 
as  compared  with  30,000  tons  in  1913. 



Ninety  per  cent,  of  the  world's  platinum  comes  from  the 
Urals.  But  in  spite  of  the  high  price  the  output  has  fallen 
from  99,820  oz.  troy  in  1912  to  79,000  in  1916.  The  richest 
placers  are  rapidly  becoming  exhausted,  and  the  others  can  only 
be  worked  at  a  profit  with  dredgers.  More  than  half  the  output 
comes  from  the  Verkhoture  region,  notably  from  Tara  River 
on  the  Tagilski  estate.  Platinum  is  found  in  some  quantities 
on  the  Sosva  and  Lozva  and  other  rivers.  Traces  of  it  occur 
in  the  Tomsk  and  Mariinsk  districts,  notably  in  the  gold  mines 
of  the  Chumish  basin,  in  the  Yeniseisk  goldfields  round  the 
Pitski  Mountains,  near  the  Vitim  goldfields,  and  on  the  Uni 
Bolski  in  the  Amur  Province.  The  natives  in  the  Aldan 
valley  are  said  to  use  it  for  bullets.  Hitherto  platinum  has 
been  sent  abroad  to  be  refined,  but  in  1915  an  export  tax 
of  15  per  cent,  ad  valorem  was  placed  upon  unrefined  platinum 
with  a  view  to  encouraging  the  erection  of  refineries  at  home. 


Asbestos  is  mined  almost  exclusively  near  Yekaterinburg, 
and  before  the  war  was  virtually  all  exported  to  Germany  and 
the  United  Kingdom  via  Riga.     The  output  in   1913  was 
16,661  tons.    In  the  Irkutsk  Province  asbestos  is  only  worked 
in  the  Angara  district.    The  quality  is  good.    On  the  Mongol- 
Dabanski  gold-placers,  which  belong  to  the  Crown,  but  are 
now  worked  out,  there  are  very  rich  asbestos  and  mica  mines. 
They  are  on  a  tributary  of  the  Didi,  which  is  a  tributary  of 
the  Oka,  and  are  75  miles  from  Ziminskoe.    In  Yeniseisk  there 
are  asbestos  mines  on  the  left  of  the  River  Kamishta,  a  trim 
tary  of  the  Abakan.    The  asbestos  lies  in  dolomite  veins  up 
4 \  ft.  in  thickness,  but  only  one-seventh  is  of  commercial  value 
It  is  found  also  on  the  River  Karagan  in  the  same  government 
in  the  Altai ;    150  miles  south  of  Biisk,  on  the  Katun  ;    ii 
Transbaikal  near  Shilkinski  ;   and  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the 
Nerchinsk  tin-mines. 


Hard  and  clean  graphite  has  been  found  in  considerable 
quantity  near  Turukhansk  on  the  Yenisei,  and  130  miles  west 
of  Irkutsk,  on  the  Mongolian  border,  as  well  as  in  the  Kirghiz 
steppe.  Graphite  of  excellent  quality  comes  from  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Cape  Dezhneva.  It  also  exists  on  the  Lower 
Tunguska,  near  the  River  Bukhalova  and  near  Souznaya  on 
the  Amur.     But  nowhere  is  it  exploited  to  any  extent. 


Mica  is  found  in  the  Krasnoyarsk  region,  but  has  not  been 
systematically  worked,  at  Kandakova  on  the  River  Tasyeeva, 
a  tributary  of  the  Angara,  as  well  as  on  the  River  Kan  near  the 
mouth  of  the  River  Varga.  It  is  also  reported  in  the  Nizhne- 
Udinsk  district,  and  on  the  Mama,  a  tributary  of  the  Vitim. 
On  the  southern  shore  of  Lake  Baikal  the  quality  of  the 
mica  found  is  good  and  the  pieces  usually  large. 


A  belt  of  large  petroleum-bearing  rocks  about  two-thirds  of 
a  mile  wide  stretches  along  the  shores  of  Lake  Baikal  as  far 
north  as  Barguzinski  Bay.  In  Sakhalin  naphtha  springs  exist 
near  Niski  and  Nabilski  Bay,  close  to  harbours  accessible  to 
sea-going  vessels.  There  are  lakes  of  petroleum  near  the 
Nutovo  River,  and  petroleum  which  flows  of  itself  has  been 
discovered  at  a  depth  of  1,000  ft.  A  larger  oil-sand  should  be 
reached  at  2,000  ft.  The  oil  is  said  to  be  without  benzine,  and 
it  can  therefore  be  used  for  fuel  immediately.  Expert  opinion 
compares  it  favourably  with  that  of  Baku. 

Other  Metallic  Ores 

Tin  of  good  quality  has  been  found  near  Nizhne-Sharonai, 
Olovyannaya,  and  elsewhere  between  the  Onon  and  the  Ingoda, 
but  it  is  little  worked.  There  is  every  sign  that  this  region  is 
a  genuine  tin  district.  The  Government  recently  was  said  to 
be  installing  here  the  first  tin-smelting  works  in  Siberia. 


Antimony. — The  important  antimony  deposits  at  the  Ak- 
hatolskaya  mines  in  the  Urals  are  being  carefully  investigated. ' 
Antimony  also  exists  in  the  Urals  near  the  Verkhne-Neivinsk 
works  and  in  the  silver  mines  10  miles  north  of  Blagodat.  It 
is  found  in  several  mines  in  the  Yeniseisk  Government,  and  in 
more  than  one  river  in  the  Minusinsk  district;  In  the  Trans- 
baikal  a  spring  near  the  Kadainskoe  silver  mines  is  known  as' 
the  antimony  spring.  Antimony  deposits  stretch  along  the 
mountain  top  7  miles  from  Zabilovo  in  the  Amur  Province. 
The  vein  reaches  a  thickness  of  3|  ft. 

Mercury. — Quicksilver  has  been  discovered  in  the  Verkhne- 
Iset  district  in  the  Urals ;  the  veins  seem  numerous  and  rich, 
but  have  not  been  fully  investigated.  Deposits  of  cinnabar 
are  said  to  exist  near  Lake  Ayamskoe.  Cinnabar  also 
occurs  in  the  Bogoslovski  district ;  at  Ildekanski,  in  the  valley 
of  the  Urov,  a  tributary  of  the  Argun,  where  the  vein  is  rarely 
more  than  2  inches  thick  ;  in  the  Amga  basin  and  in  Kam- 
chatka.    But  it  has  not  been  worked  in  these  regions. 

Radium  has  been  found  on  the  Ayakhta,  a  tributary  of  the 
Pit,  which  flows  into  the  Yenisei.  The  Kamchatka  province 
is  believed  to  have  deposits  of  iridium,  palladium,  and  osmium. 
Thorianite  has  been  discovered  in  the  black  slimes  of  the 
placers  on  the  River  Boshagoch  in  the  Nerchinsk  region.  Rich 
deposits  of  wolfram  exist  in  the  Urals  and  near  Klyuchevskaya 
on  the  Ingoda,  and  near  the  Onon  in  the  Transbaikal. 

Manganese  is  found  at  Nizhne-Tagilski  and  elsewhere  in  the 
Urals,  and  is  said  to  exist  in  the  valley  of  the  Angara.  Molyb- 
denum is  found  in  the  Kirghiz  steppe  and  Transbaikal. 

Osmiridium  occurs  in  the  Kishtim  mines  in  the  Urals,  in 
the  Nizhne-Udinsk  district,  in  the  Dzhila  river  system  in 
the  Transbaikal,  and  in  the  gold-placers  of  the  Troitskosavsk 
district.     It  is  nowhere  regularly  worked. 


There  are  large  deposits  of  coal  in  Siberia,  but  most  of  it 
is  only  of  small  importance.    Many  of  the  deposits,  however, 

COAL  289 

are  not  yet  worked,  and  it  is  probable  that  some  of  the  coal 
in  eastern  Siberia  will  prove  to  be  of  good  quality.  In  many 
coalfields  the  want  of  a  local  market  prevents  extensive 
exploitation.  While  the  population  is  scattered,  as  it  is  in 
most  parts  of  Siberia,  and  while  timber  is  abundant,  coal 
cannot  be  produced  cheaply  enough  to  be  used  as  fuel  except 
in  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  the  beds.  The  railways 
are  the  great  consumers,  and  are  steadily  increasing  their 
demands.  Manufacturing  industry  is  still  too  little  developed 
in  Siberia  to  require  great  quantities  of  coal,  and  export  is 
economically  practical  be  only  from  the  coalbeds  of  the  far  east. 

Urals. — Coal  occurs  on  both  flanks  of  the  Urals.  All  these 
deposits  are  properly  speaking  in  European  Russia.  The 
beds  on  the  western  side  have  been  worked  for  many  years,  but 
those  on  the  eastern  side  are  only  beginning  to  be  developed. 
The  wholesale  destruction  of  forests,  and  consequent  increased 
demand  for,  and  enhanced  price  of  coal  makes  it  probable  that 
these  deposits  will  play  an  important  part  in  the  industrial 
activities  of  the  Ural  region.  Unfortunately,  however,  this 
coal  will  not  coke,  and  is  therefore  useless  for  metallurgical 
works.  Hence  coal  is  imported  from  the  Donetz  region  of 
southern  Russia.  In  1914  the  production  of  coal  in  the  Urals 
was  1,170,412  tons,  and  was  increasing  annually.  On  the 
other  hand,  in  some  factories  peat  is  being  used  as  fuel,  and 
machinery  for  compressing  peat  has  already  been  installed  in 

On  the  lower  Ob  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Berezov  is  an 
extensive  coalfield,  but  up  to  the  present  this  has  not  been 

Kirghiz  Steppe. — East  and  west  of  the  Pavlodar-Karkara- 
linsk  road  are  a  number  of  coal  outcrops  which  point  to  the 
existence  of  large  deposits  apparently  scattered  in  isolated 
basins  of  small  size.  Only  the  Karagandinsk  mine,  134  miles 
north-west  of  Karkaralinsk,  which  supplies  the  Spasski  copper 
works,  at  present  possesses  commercial  importance.  The  coal 
has  moderate  coking  qualities,  but  gives  nearly  40  per  cent, 
ash.     The  seams  are  from  3  to  20  ft.  thick.     The  Ekibas-tuse 


mine  is  being  worked  on  a  large  scale,  and  a  railway  has  been 
built  to  the  Irtish,  by  which  zinc  and  lead  ores  are  brought  for 
smelting  from  Riderski  in  the  Altai.  The  coal  is  coking  coal,  4 
and  there  are  two  seams  of  variable  thickness  which  have  been 
traced  for  over  4  miles  at  a  depth  of  about  400  ft.  The  lower 
seam  has  little  ash.  The  output  in  1917  was  80,000  tons. 
The  completion  of  the  Southern  Siberian  Railway  will  give 
increased  importance  to  these  mines.  They  are  owned  by 
a  British  company,  the  Irtish  Corporation. 

Kuznetsk. — The  Kuznetsk  beds,  in  the  Altai  region,  extend 
from  Sudzhenka  on  the  railway  to  40  miles  south  of  Kuznetsk. 
On  the  west  they  reach  the  Ob  in  places,  on  the  east  the  slopes 
of  the  Ala-tau  Range.  The  total  area  is  estimated  at  about 
5,000  sq.  miles.  The  quality  varies  considerably  in  different 
parts  of  the  beds.  Floods  and  the  irregularity  of  the  seams 
cause  trouble  at  the  State  mine  at  Anzherski.  The  seams,  ten 
in  number,  are  from  3  to  45  ft.  thick.  The  Sudzhenka  coal, 
which  is  coking  or  semi-anthracite,  is  taken  almost  entirely 
by  the  railway.  Small  quantities  only  are  sent  down  the  Tom 
for  local  use  in  Tomsk  from  the  Kolchugino  mine,  which  sup- 
plies the  inconsiderable  needs  of  the  ironworks  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood. The  shaft  here  is  25  ft.  deep.  A  French  company 
working  this  coalfield  failed,  and  there  is  now  no  mining.  The 
Yurga -Kolchugino  Railway,  now  extended  to  Kuznetsk  (see 
Chapter  XVII),  should  at  last  make  it  possible  to  exploit  these 
valuable  coal  beds. 

Cheremkhovskoe. — Important  beds  of  coal  lie  round  Cherem- 
khovskoe,  70  miles  west  of  Irkutsk.  They  produce  nearly 
5,000,000  tons  annually.  The  coal  is  mainly  lignite,  and 
much  inferior  to  that  of  Kuznetsk.  The  beds  cover  about 
90  sq.  miles,  and  lie  at  a  depth  of  more  than  98  ft.  The  seams 
are  horizontal  with  an  average  thickness  of  9  ft.  The  railway 
is  the  chief  consumer.  Coal  is  used  in  the  electric  works  in 
the  town  of  Irkutsk,  but  not  for  heating  purposes  in  private 

Yenisei  and  Lena  Basins. — There  are  also  considerable 
deposits  in  the  Yenisei  valley  near  Dudinka  and  in  the  Minu- 

COAL  291 

sinsk  region.  There  are  said  to  be  deposits  in  the  Lower 
I  Tunguska  and  Chulim  valleys.  In  the  Lena  valley  coal  has  been 
located  at  a  number  of  places,  throughout  its  middle  course 
and  as  far  north  as  Bulun.  On  the  west  side  of  the  Lena  the 
deposits  extend  beyond  the  mouth  of  the  Markha,  a  tributary 
of  the  Vilyui ;  on  the  east  side  along  the  Aldan,  beyond  the 
mouth  of  the  Maya.  The  coal,  which  is  of  recent  origin,  is  not 

Transbaikal. — In  the  Transbaikal  a  number  of  coal  deposits, 
mainly  lignite,  have  been  located  ;  along  the  shores  of  Baikal 
with  outcrops  near  the  lake,  and  in  the  valleys  of  the  streams 
round,  including  the  Uda  and  the  Chikoi  ;  at  seven  points 
in  the  valley  of  the  Khilok  and  at  two  near  Lake  Gusinoe. 
A  seam  near  Pereemnaya,  on  the  south-eastern  shore  of 
Baikal,  is  worked  for  the  lake  steamers,  but  the  output  is 
small.  Large  lignite  beds  exist  in  the  valley  of  the  Ingoda. 
one  being  at  Novaya-Kuka,  only  4  miles  from  the  railway. 
Goal  also  occurs  at  several  points  in  the  valleys  of  the  Shilka, 
Onon,  and  Argun.  The  deposits  on  the  Argun  have  not  been 
explored,  but  as  the  region  where  they  occur  is  treeless,  they 
may  be  of  importance.  About  1,500,000  tons  are  produced 
annually  from  these  deposits  along  the  Transbaikal  Railway, 
but  the  quality  is  inferior,  giving  only  half  the  heat  of  the 
Cheremkhovskoe  coal. 

Amur  Province. — Coking  coal  of  fair  quality  has  been  found 
about  30  miles  from  the  mouth  of  the  Dep,  a  tributary  of  the 
Zeya,  on  its  right  bank,  but  the  amount  seems  to  be  small. 
In  the  Bureya  valley  several  deposits  of  better  quality  have 
been  found. 

Extensive  deposits  of  brown  coal  have  also  been  located  at 
several  places  along  the  Amur  and  the  Amur  Railway,  notably 
near  Khabarovsk. 

Maritime  Province  and  Sakhalin. — There  is  much  coal, 
mostly  of  a  poor  quality,  in  the  Maritime  Province.  Of 
27  deposits  10  are  being  worked.  The  principal  sources 
are  a  large  lignite  mine  near  Vladivostok,  yielding  upwards 
of  200,000  tons  annually  for  the  railway,  a  couple  of  small 

T  2 


mines  on  Amur  Bay,  the  Government  mines  at  Suchan, 
60  miles  from  America  Bay,  and  the  Due,  Alexandrovsk, 
and  other  mines  in  Sakhalin. 

The  Suchan  mine,  which  supplies  the  Government  require- 
ments, is  run  at  great  expense  and  on  non-economical  lines. 
It  is  connected  with  the  Ussuri  Railway  by  a  branch  93  miles 
long,  but  this  can  handle  only  133,000  tons  at  most  in  a  year.] 
The  output  rose  from  105,496  tons  in  1908  to  206,783  in  1912. 
The  quality  of  the  coal  for  steam-raising  has  been  much 
criticized  and  its  calorific  value  is  comparatively  low.  The 
coal  is  of  three  sorts,  bituminous,  anthracite,  and  coking,  the 
percentage  of  volatile  matter  being  respectively  27  to  30, 
6  to  8,  and  22  per  cent.  It  was  expected  that  the  briquette 
works  on  Golden  Horn  Bay  would  turn  out  3,200,000  bri- 
quettes in  1914.  There  are  said  to  be  indications  of  both 
brown  and  anthracite  coal  along  the  coast  of  the  Maritime 
Province  as  far  north  as  de  Castries  Bay. 

A  Government  engineer,  who  has  recently  visited  the 
Mongugai  coal-field,  which  lies  some  12  miles  inland  from  the 
western  shore  of  Amur  Bay  on  the  Mongugai  River  and  is 
only  24  miles  by  land  and  water  from  Vladivostok,  estimates 
that  it  contains  some  5,000,000  tons  of  good  anthracite  coal, 
very  similar  to  Welsh  coal.  The  field  is  much  cut  up  by 
eruptive  rocks  and  heavily  faulted.  If  a  small  harbour,  with 
a  narrow-gauge  line,  were  built,  150,000  to  200,000  tons  could 
be  delivered  annually  at  Vladivostok  at  a  cost  of  about  10s.  a 
ton,  instead  of  the  18s.  or  more  charged  for  Japanese  coal,  of 
which  some  12,000  tons  are  imported  into  Vladivostok  every 

Mines  near  Alexandrovsk  in  Sakhalin  are  connected  to  the 
sea  by  a  railway  1\  miles  long. 

The  absence  of  a  harbour  has  prevented  the  excellent  Due 
coal  from  being  worked  on  a  large  scale.  In  1912,  24,322  tons 
were  produced  from  five  pits.  The  Government  is  putting  the 
mines  up  for  auction  for  36  years  on  condition  that  the  lessee 
shall  build  a  harbour  for  general  use.  The  mines  could 
certainly  produce  large   quantities   of  coal  at  a  moderate 

COAL  293 

price  if  properly  worked,  as  the  seams  are  thick  and  lie  hori- 
zontally, while  timber  is  abundant.  In  quality  it  is  said  to  be 
equal  to  Welsh  coal.  Excellent  bituminous  coal  has  also 
been  discovered  at  the  mouth  of  the  Pilevo  near  the  Japanese 

Kamchatka. — There  is  a  large  deposit  of  brown  lignite  at 
Baron  Korfa  Gulf,  north  of  Kamchatka.    Similar  coal  occurs 

*the  shores  of  Gizhiga  and  Penzhina  Bays,  as  well  as  at 
^ral  places  on  the  west  coast  of  Kamchatka  and  elsewhere 
he  Kamchatka  province. 


The  Urals  produce  about  20  per  cent,  of  Russia's  salt,  in 
spite  of  the  fact  that  the  industry  there  is  not  developing 
rapidly.  The  Orenburg  deposits  are  among  the  richest  in 
Russia,  which  contains  some  of  the  largest  salt-beds  in  the 

Salt  is  an  important,  but  little  developed,  Siberian  mineral. 
In  the  west  it  is  chiefly  found  in  a  number  of  lakes  in  the 
Semipalatinsk  territory,  on  both  banks  of  the  Irtish,  in  the 
Akmolinsk  region  and  in  the  Government  of  Tomsk.  The  out- 
put varies  considerably,  as  the  deposits  in  the  lakes  depend 
on  the  weather.  In  1911  the  output  of  salt  in  western  Siberia 
was  129,000  tons,  one-sixth  of  the  total  output  of  the  Russian 
Empire  ;  in  eastern  Siberia  about  10,600  tons. 

In  the  Kirghiz  steppe  seven  lakes  are  controlled  by  the 
Government  and  leased  for  working.  All  the  other  lakes  of 
the  region,  many  hundreds  in  number,  are  left  for  the  use  of  the 
Kirghiz,  but  the  salt  they  yield  is  less  pure  in  quality.  Most  of 
them  could  only  produce  pure  salt  by  the  artificial  basin  system. 
Chief  among  the  reserved  lakes  are  the  five  west  of  Pavlodar, 
of  which  by  far  the  most  important  is  Lake  Koryakov,  12 
miles  from  the  town.  Its  salt  is  considered  the  best  in  Siberia. 
In  1905  it  produced  over  32,000  tons.  The  method  of  procuring 
the  salt  is  quite  primitive,  no  machinery  being  used.  Lake 
Karabas  is  another  important  salt  lake,  wTest  of  Semipalatinsk  ; 


it  supplies  the  needs  of  that  town,  as  well  as  of  Biisk,  Zmyeino- ' 
gorsk  and  Zaisan.     This  lake  also  belongs  to  the  State.     The 
salt  is  collected  in  the  most  primitive  way  and  loaded  on  to 

In  the  Tomsk  Government,  in  the  Baraba  steppes,  are  a  I 
number  of  salt  lakes,  of  which  Lake  Burlinskoe,  some  70  miles 
to  the  north-east  of  Pavlodar,  is  the  most  important.  It 
produces  by  far  the  greater  part  of  the  output  in  this  region. 
The  salt  is  comparatively  pure  :  it  is  used  by  the  peasantry 
and  in  the  fishing. industry  on  the  Ob. 

Eastern  Siberia  abounds  in  salt,  but  the  richest  deposits 
of  rock-salt  and  the  best  salt  springs  lie  in  districts  too  remote 
for  profitable  working.  Most  of  the  salt  is  obtained  by 
evaporation  from  salt  lakes,  as,  for  instance,  near  Abakanskoe 
in  the  Yeniseisk  Province.  In  this  province  evaporation 
produces  7,500  tons  a  year,  about  the  same  quantity  as  in  the 
Irkutsk  Province.  The  industry  flourishes  in  Transbaikal, 
especially  round  Novi-Selenginsk,  Ust-Kiranskaya,  and  Troit- 
skosavsk.  There  are  a  number  of  brackish  lakes,  of  which 
Baruntorei  is  the  largest,  in  the  southern  part  of  the  district. 
Lake  Borzinsk  near  the  Chinese  frontier  is  the  only  salt  lake  in 
the  Nerchinsk  district,  and  the  salt  does  not  settle  there  every 
year.  The  most  important  saltworks  in  Siberia  are  at  Ussolye 
near  Irkutsk  on  the  Lower  Angara.  They  produced  10,000 
tons  in  1907.  Work  is  only  carried  on  in  summer,  owing  to 
the  cost  of  fuel.  If  the  price  of  salt  fell  below  about  Id.  per  lb., 
it  could  not  be  produced  at  a  profit. 

The  Ust-Kutskoe  works  on  the  upper  Lena  have  an  output 
of  some  1,600  tons  annually  for  local  use,but  they  areunfavour- 
ably  situated.  The  salt  is  plentiful.  Very  large  deposits 
of  rock  salt  exist  on  the  Vilyui  and  its  right  tributaries  near 
Suntarskaya.  The  salt  is  contained  in  red  clay  and  is  every- 
where accompanied  by  gypsum.  On  the  right  bank  of  the 
Kyundyaya,  a  right-hand  tributary  of  the  Vilyui,  salt  forms 
two  masses  in  a  mountain  of  red  clay  and  gypsum.  During  the 
spring  floods  some  of  its  tributaries,  notably  the  Kampents- 
zyaika,  become  quite  brackish.     At  present  there  is  no  market 

SALT  295 

for  thin  excellent  salt  owing  to  the  absence  of  means  of  com 

As  many  districts  are  totally  devoid  of  salt,  the  Government 
keeps  salt-depots  for  supplying  local  needs  in  the  remoter 
regions  of  Siberia. 

Glauber's  Salt. — In  the  northern  portion  of  the  salt  lake 
system  of  western  Siberia,  i.e.  on  the  Baraba  steppe,  the 
lakes  always  contain  a  considerable  amount  of  salts  other  than 
common  salt,  principally  sulphate  of  sodium  (Glauber's  salt). 

In  eastern  Siberia  Glauber's  salt  is  produced  from  Lake 
Doroninsk  in  the  Barguzin  district,  and  also  from  the  exten- 
sive deposits  in  the  Minusinsk  region,  close  to  the  left  bank 
of  the  Yenisei.  Lake  Doroninsk  likewise  contains  vast 
deposits  of  sulphate  of  soda,  which  is  also  produced  from  a 
couple  of  small  lakes  in  the  south  of  the  Achinsk-Minusinsk 
region,  the  Kiransk  Lake  in  the  Transbaikal,  and  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Verkholensk  on  the  upper  Lena. 

In  the  Tomsk  Government  hot  mineral  springs  occur  only 
in  the  mountainous  districts.  The  Rakhmanovski  and  Byelo- 
kurikha  springs,  both  in  the  Biisk  region,  near  the  Mongolian 
border,  are  the  best  known.  The  Transbaikal  is  rich  in  mineral 
springs,  most  of  them  cold.  Very  few  of  them  have  been 
exploited  or  even  explored.  They  are  especially  numerous 
near  the  Shilka  and  in  the  Chita  region.  In  Kamchatka 
mineral  springs  are  likewise,  common,  their  healing  qualities 
being  often  appreciated  by  the  natives.  There  are  sulphur 
springs  on  the  middle  Lena. 

Precious  Stones  and  Building  Materials 

Marble  and  lapis  lazuli  are  common  in  the  Irkutsk  and 
Transbaikal  regions.  Very  fine  lapis  lazuli  has  been  produced 
in  the  valley  of  the  Malaya-Bistraya,  a  tributary  of  the  Irkut. 
Marbles,  garnet,  asphalt,  &c,  are  found  along  the  Talaya 
and  Slyudyanka,  which  flow  into  Lake  Baikal. 

Ashirite,  a  rare  kind  of  emerald,  is  found  to  the  NW.  of 
Karkaralinsk  in  the  Kirghiz  steppe  and  alabaster  in  the 
immediate  neighbourhood  of  Semipalatinsk. 


The  Transbaikal  is  the  richest  district  for  precious  stones. 
On  the  '  granite  mountain  '  Adun-Chelonsk,  near  the  conflu- 
ence of  the  Onon  and  the  Borzya,  topaz,  beryl,  aquamarine, 
tourmaline,  crystals,  and  other  stones  have  been  found.  Very 
fine  topazes  come  from  the  Nerchinsk  Range,  between  the 
Unda,  a  tributary  of  the  Skilka,  and  the  Urulyungui,  a  tribu- 
tary of  the  Argun.  Neither  of  these  districts  is  at  present 
regularly  exploited.  Garnets  in  small  crystals  are  also  found 
on  the  Onon,  56  miles  from  Nerchinsk.  On  the  eastern  shores 
of  Baikal,  near  Barguzin,  there  are  fine  rubies  and  almondines. 

The  basins  of  the  Byelaya,  a  tributary  of  the  Lower  Angara, 
and  its  tributaries,  the  Iret  and  the  Onon,  contain  nephrite, 
which  is  highly  prized  by  the  Chinese.  Some  of  the  blocks 
weigh  9  or  10  cwt.    There  is  nephrite  near  Cheremkhovskoe. 

Jasper  exists  near  Zhigansk  on  the  Lena.  The  jasper  and 
porphyry  of  various  colours  from  the  Altai  are  celebrated. 
They  come  especially  from  the  valleys  of  the  Alei  and  Charish 
and  are  polished  at  the  Kolivan  works.  From  the  eight 
quarries  working  in  the  Altai  come  porphyry,  blue  and  green 
jasper,  malachite,  granite,  marbles,  breccia,  smoky  topaz, 
coloured  quartz,  agate,  and  chalcedony. 

Near  Olgi  Bay  is  a  mountain  said  to  consist  entirely  of 
marble,  to  which  a  railway  has  been  projected.  Marble  is 
also  found  on  the  upper  Yenisei,  on  the  southern  and  eastern 
slopes  of  Baikal,  and  in  the  basins  of  the  Onon  and  the  Argun. 

Lime,  building-stone,  and  common  clays  are  found  almost 
everywhere.  Eire-clay  and  fire -resisting  sandstone  are  worked 
near  the  mines  in  the  Kirghiz  steppe  and  the  Irkutsk  Govern- 

Kaolin  and  white  clay  for  porcelain  are  worked  in  several 
places  in  the  Irkutsk  Government.  Felspar  and  quartz  for 
glass  factories  are  obtained  from  deposits  in  the  Baikal 



Kustarni  Industries — Factories — Chinese  Industries  in  the  Far  East 

Kustarni  Industries 

The  characteristic  industrial  feature  of  western  Siberia,  as 
of  European  Russia,  is  the  Kustarni  (peasant  or  cottage) 
industry,  performed  in  the  houses  of  the  cottagers,  some- 
times as  the  winter  or  nocturnal  occupation  of  an  agricultural 
folk  during  the  hours  of  their  unemployment,  sometimes  as 
the  main  occupation  of  the  inhabitants.  Several  of  the  old 
settlers  have  given  up  agriculture  for  peasant  industries,  but 
many  of  these  industries  are  decaying,  and  the  railway  by  its 
distribution  of  the  commodities  accelerates  their  fall.  Some 
patterns  remain  traditional  in  one  family  for  generations, 
and  the  older  these  traditions,  the  better  and  finer  is  the  work 
produced.  Those  who  are  responsible  for  developing  these 
industries,  try  as  far  as  possible  to  revive  the  finer  and  more 
artistic  work  which  has  had  a  tendency  to  give  way  before 
cheaper  and  newer  products.  In  eastern  Siberia  these 
Kustarni  industries  are  less  developed,  and  the  more  easterly 
the  province  the  less  is  the  degree  of  development.  In  the 
Kirghiz  steppes,  where  there  is  a  considerable  amount  of 
peasant  weaving,  the  Kustarni  trades  flourish  more  among 
the  Kirghiz  than  among  the  Russian  inhabitants.  The  only 
exception  is  a  kind  of  tanning  industry  established  by  recent 

In  western  Siberia  it  was  estimated  about  ten  years  ago 
that  there  were  altogether  13,000  factories,  employing  33,000 
workpeople  and  producing  about  £4,000,000  worth  of  manu- 
factures.    As  these  numbers  include  the  bigger  factories  in 


some  of  the  towns  it  shows  that  only  about  two  people  in 
one  house  are  employed  on  the  same  thing.  Usually  all  the 
inhabitants  of  one  village  are  employed  in  the  same  industry, 
and  even  all  the  villages  on  one  road  will  have  one  or  two 
staple  occupations.  So  on  the  road  from  Kurgan  to  Yaluto- 
rovsk  all  the  many  villages  that  the  traveller  passes  manu- 
facture wool  or  leather.  Some  examples  of  Kustarni  industries 
in  western  Siberia  may  be  given.  About  Tyumen,  a  great 
centre  of  industry,  the  Kustarni  manufactures  are  cooper- 
work,  sieves,  turned  utensils,  carts,  furniture  of  a  rough  kind, 
sledges,  pitch,  the  wooden  parts  of  horses'  collars,  Russian 
ploughs,  and  in  the  Kamen  volost  of  the  same  district  carpet 
making,  with  bright  flowers  and  animal  patterns.  The  wool, 
colours,  and  designs  are  bought  from  traders — formerly 
vegetable  colours  were  got  from  the  Samoyedes,  now  aniline 
dyes  are  used  :  the  Russians  love  bright  colours.  Round 
Turinsk  and  Tobolsk  much  carpentering  work  is  done,  but 
in  Tobolsk  fishing  nets  and  carvings  from  mammoth  ivory 
are  also  made,  and  in  Turinsk  anchors  because  of  the  fishing. 
Throughout  south  Tobolsk  wool  and  skin  products  are  manu- 
factured. At  Kurgan  and  Turinsk  they  make  plough-shares, 
at  Ishim  ropes  and  rough  agricultural  machinery,  at  Sama- 
rovskoe  leads  for  the  fishing-nets.  Throughout  the  Tobolsk 
Government  they  make  plaited  bast- work,  harness,  skin 
boots,  wool  products,  axles,  distaffs,  and  troughs.  In  the 
Tomsk  Government  at  Kuznetsk  and  Tomsk  there  are  smiths 
and  joiners,  at  Barnaul  they  make  metal  pots  for  milk  and  the 
special  skin  coats  known  as  '  barnaulkas  ',  and  at  Biisk  cedar- 
nut  oil. 

The  Ministry  of  Agriculture  has  tried  to  improve  the 
technical  knowledge  of  the  peasant-workers  by  establishing 
educational  workshops,  of  which  there  are  now  seven  in  the 
Tomsk  Government,  giving  instruction  in  such  things  as 
weaving,  furniture-making,  carpentering,  the  manufacture  of 
agricultural  machines,  cart-building,  pottery,  and  tanning. 

In  eastern  Siberia  labour  is  scarcer  and  dearer,  and  the 
standard  of  workmanship  is  much  lower.     In  Irkutsk  and 


Yeniseisk  woodwork  of  various  kinds  comes  first  in  importance, 
especially  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  big  towns  ;  second 
comes  the  dressing  of  sheepskins  and  wool  products  ;  then 
weaving  and  metalwork,  which  are  much  less  advanced 
About  Yeniseisk  there  is  pottery,  and  near  Irkutsk  boot- 
making.  In  Transbaikal  coopers'  work  alone  is  of  importance. 
In  Yakutsk  one  special  form  of  Kustarni  industry  should  be 
mentioned,  the  fine  work  done  in  mammoth  ivory  by  the 
Yakuts.  In  the  Amur  and  Primorsk  Provinces  cottage  in- 
dustries hardly  exist  at  all,  but  the  government  is  doing  its 
best  to  organize  them,  as  offering  excellent  employment, 
especially  in  the  remoter  districts,  during  the  winter.  In- 
structors are  brought  from  Russia,  schools  are  opened,  and 
assistance  is  given  in  procuring  raw  material  and  organizing 
sales.  It  is  thought  that  wooden  articles  for  local  use,  such 
as  furniture,  sledge  runners,  &c,  could  be  made  at  home. 
Charcoal  burning,  the  dry  distillery  of  wood  products  and 
the  making  of  rough  tools  and  pottery  might  be  taken  up,  as 
well  as  weaving,  coopering,  tanning,  and  shoemaking.  In  the 
Primorsk  seven  workshops  and  schools  have  been  or  shortly 
will  be  established.  In  Amur  and  Primorsk  £23,000  was  to 
be  spent  in  1914  to  promote  these  industries. 

In  the  towns  bigger  factories  have  grown  up,  some  of  which 
have  been  established  for  70  or  80  years,  as,  for  instance,  the 
celebrated  glass  factory  28  miles  west  of  Krasnoyarsk,  estab- 
lished about  1840  and  employing  normally  400  and  at  special 
seasons  800  workmen.  It  is  difficult  to  define  very  clearly 
the  distinction  between  the  Kustarni  and  bigger  factories  ; 
very  often  the  same  industry  is  carried  on  in  both,  or  a  factory 
may  be  merely  an  aggregation  of  Kustarni  workers.  The 
chief  occupations  of  Siberian  towns  are  distilling,  brewing, 
tanning,  soap  and  tallow  factories,  flour-milling,  saw-milling, 
weaving,  oil-milling,  rope-making,  glass-making,  brick-making, 
pottery.  In  the  Russian  Far  East  the  managers  of  factories 
are  usually  foreigners,  especially  Japanese,  until  the  Russo- 


Japanese  war.  Skilled  labour  was  supplied  by  the  Chinese, 
unskilled  by  Koreans.  The  retail  trade  was  chiefly  in  the 
hands  of  the  Chinese. 

Distilling  and  Brewing 

The  distillation  of  spirits,  especially  vodka,  is  the  oldest 
and  most  firmly  established  industry  in  Siberia.  Vodka  dis- 
tilleries supply  only  the  state,  which  has  its  own  retail  shops, 
and  export  a  limited  amount  to  other  countries.  There  are 
about  60  distilleries  in  Siberia,  of  which  the  most  important 
is  at  Semipalatinsk,  in  which  in  1906-7  6,000,000  litres  were 

Other  important  distilleries  are  in  Kurgan,  Tomsk,  and  the 
neighbourhood  of  Omsk.  Spirits  are  distilled  from  rye, 
wheat,  and  potatoes.  Before  the  prohibition  of  vodka  Siberia 
could  not  satisfy  its  own  needs  under  this  head,  but  imported 
from  Russia.  There  is  a  Kustarni  industry  in  the  distilling 
of  samosidka  (a  kind  of  vodka)  from  corn,  but  this  is  only  for 
local  consumption. 

Breweries  before  the  war  were  usually  in  the  hands  of 
Germans  and  Austrians.  The  chief  kind  of  beer  manufac- 
tured was  a  light  lager  beer  of  German  type.  Nearly  all  the 
towns  of  any  importance  have  their  breweries,  producing 
between  600,000  and  1,200,000  litres  per  annum.  The  work 
is  usually  done  in  winter.  The  beer  produced  is  of  fair  quality, 
like  the  ordinary  Russian  beers,  but  with  a  somewhat  higher 
proportion  of  alcohol.  Besides  beer,  mead  and  kvas  are 
brewed.     There  are  yeast  factories  at  Omsk  and  Irkutsk. 

Animal  Products 

Tanneries  work  both  for  local  use  and  export.  The  largest, 
which  are  at  Tyumen,  work  some  60,000  cattle  hides  and 
10,000  horse  hides  per  annum.  The  next  largest  are  at  Biisk. 
The  chief  supply  of  raw  hides  for  western  Siberia  comes  from 
Kurgan,  Semipalatinsk,  Barnaul,  and  the  great  market  for 
these  commodities  at  Petropavlovsk.     There  are  no  tanneries 


in  Mongolia  ;  so  a  considerable  amount  of  finished  products 
go  into  that  country,  some  of  which  had  previously  been  sent 
out  of  it  as  untanned  hides.  This  constitutes  much  of  the 
trade  which  passes  from  Biisk  along  the  Chuya  track.  A 
resident  at  Kyakhta  has  bought  a  Tyumen  tannery  in  order 
to  facilitate  the  trade  through  Kyakhta.  Other  places  where 
tanning  is  important  are  Petropavlovsk,  Tomsk,  Novo- 
Nikolaevsk,  Barnaul,  Zaisan,  Omsk,  Semipalatinsk,  Zmyei- 
nogorsk,  and  Irkutsk.  The  Lena  goldfield  is  largely  supplied 
by  leather  from  Ussolye  near  Irkutsk.  Tanning  is  a  fre- 
quent Kustarni  industry  as  well. 

Tallow,  soap  and  candles  are  a  common  industry,  especially 
in  Tobolsk  and  northern  Akmolinsk.  Export  is  made  by 
rail  to  Russia,  especially  to  Moscow,  Petrograd,  Kazan,  and 
Urakovo.  Ninety- three  per  cent,  is  exported  in  winter,  for 
the  packing  expenses  are  less  heavy  then,  as  the  use  of  casks 
is  not  obligatory.  Petropavlovsk  and  Kurgan  are  the  chief 
places  of  export. 

The  Kirghiz  cattle  supply  the  material.  The  soap  and 
candle  factories  supply  the  commonest  sorts  for  local  needs. 
For  superior  wax  candles  the  church  has  a  monopoly  with 
factories  in  Tobolsk  and  Krasnoyarsk.  The  principal  soap 
works  are  in  Petropavlovsk,  Omsk,  Tomsk,  and  Blagovyesh- 

Other  industries  connected  with  animal  products  are  wool- 
dressing,  especially  at  Tyumen  and  Irkutsk,  and  weaving. 
The  carpets  of  Tyumen  have  been  already  mentioned. 

Timber  Products 

The  saw-mills  of  Siberia  (a  very  important  industry)  are 
described  in  Chapter  XI.  The  carpentering  and  coopering 
are  mainly  Kustarni  work.  A  paper  factory  in  a  village  near 
Tyumen  employs  about  300  workpeople  and  has  an  output  of 
about  £30,000  worth.  There  is  boat-building  on  the  Tavda,  at 
Tyumen  and  at  Minusinsk.  Carriage -building  is  an  industry 
at  Tomsk,  and  to  some  extent  at  Omsk  and  Irkutsk.     There 


is  an  establishment  for  the  preparation  of  railway  sleepers  net 
the  railway  station  of  Omsk. 

There  are  several  match  factories  at  Tobolsk,  Tomsl 
Tyumen,  and  in  the  Biisk  district.  The  Tomsk  establishmenl 
is  the  best ;  there  300  hands  produced  daily  350  chests  01 
32,000  boxes  (1903).  The  other  places  employ  about  l(Kj 
hands.  The  phosphorus  (where  used)  is  obtained  from  works 
in  Perm,  the  other  materials  being  of  local  manufacture.  I 
Siberia  provides  for  itself  in  the  match  industry,  successfully 
competing  with  Japan  in  the  far  eastern  regions. 

Metal  Foundries  and  Engineering  Works 

Along  the  railway  line  are  engineering  works  and  works 
for  repairing  the  railway.  Next  to  the  railway  works  the 
best  equipped  workshops  are  those  attached  to  the  technical 
high  school  in  Tomsk  and  some  industrial  schools  in  Omsk 
and  Irkutsk.  River  steamers  and  engines  are  built  at  Tyumen 
and  Blagovyeshchensk.  There  is  a  bell-foundry  at  Tyumen, 
a  brass-foundry  at  Barnaul,  a  nail  factory  at  Irkutsk,  and 
a  factory  of  agricultural  machinery  (the  superior  kinds  are 
imported)  at  Omsk.  In  eastern  Siberia  there  are  two  iron 
and  five  copper  foundries  at  Blagovyeshchensk,  besides 
mechanical  factories  at  Khabarovsk  and  Nikolsk-Ussuriski. 

Glass  and  China 

Bottle-glass,  window-glass,  and  rough  table-ware  are  the 
only  glass  manufactured  in  Siberia,  the  superior  kinds  being 
imported.  The  chief  glass  factory  is  the  one  mentioned  above 
west  of  Krasnoyarsk,  the  workmen  of  which  are  Europeans, 
not  Siberians.  There  are  others  near  Kurgan,  Biisk,  Tomsk, 
Minusinsk,  and  Irkutsk.  Some  of  these  employ  about  100 
workpeople.  In  the  east  there  are  two  glass  factories,  one 
in  the  Amur  Province  and  one  in  Nikolsk-Ussuriski. 

There  is  one  large  china  and  porcelain  factory  in  Siberia, 
at  Khaita,  on  the  Byelaya,  about  90  miles  from  Irkutsk.  It 
produces  some  483  tons  of  less  fine  ware  for  Siberian  use  only. 
A  Moscow  firm  supplies  most  of  Siberia. 


Brick,  Pottery,  and  Cement 

Brickworks  are  very  general  near  the  Siberian  towns. 
The  brick  factories  are  often  worked  by  steam.  Although 
the  Siberian  houses  are  built  principally  of  wood,  the  founda- 
tions are  generally  of  brick,  and  so  there  is  a  larger  demand 
for  bricks  than  might  be  expected.  Prices  range  high  :  often 
about  £1  for  100.  In  1907  the  principal  steam  brick -works 
were  two  in  Tomsk,  which  produced  three  million  bricks 
a  year  each,  two  at  Krasnoyarsk,  working  much  below  their 
capacity,  two  at  Irkutsk,  which  produced  one  to  two  million 
bricks,  but  of  which  one  had  suspended  work.  Other  im- 
portant brick -works  were  in  Omsk,  Novo-Nikolaevsk,  Cherem- 
khovskoe,  and  Aleksandrovskoe  ;  at  these  bricks  were  made 
by  hand. 

Pottery  is  little  developed.  The  peasants  replace  it  with 
numerous  substitutes  of  wood  and  bark,  while  blue  and  white 
enamel  ware  (Austrian  and  Polish)  has  considerable  vogue. 
There  are,  however,  potteries  near  Tyumen.  The  most  im- 
portant pottery  is  at  Polovinnaya  on  the  Byelaya,  64  miles 
west  of  Irkutsk,  where  boats  can  reach  the  factory.  The  clay 
here  is  good.  Cement  works  are  found  in  Nizhne-Udinsk, 
where  one  produces  about  50  tons  annually.  Two  others  in 
Transbaikal  manufacture  for  local  needs,  and  another  was 
established  in  1907  near  the  Ussuri  Railway  at  the  cost  of 


Another  large  industry  is  the  manufacture  of  vegetable  oil, 
the  milling  of  which  goes  frequently  with  that  of  grain.  The 
oil  is  mainly  from  flax  and  hemp.  Among  the  principal  oil 
mills  are  one  at  Ust-Kamenogorsk  for  sunflower  seeds,  and 
one  at  Petropavlovsk,  for  linseed  (500  tons  per  annum). 
Mills  abound  all  over  western  Siberia  ;  from  the  Urals  to  the 
Ob  they  are  mostly  windmills,  east  of  the  Ob  they  are  mostly 
watermills.  In  1910  there  were  1,041  oil-mills  in  the  Tomsk 



A  few  important  factories  not  otherwise  classified  may  be 
mentioned.  In  Irkutsk  and  Khabarovsk  are  cigarette-case 
factories  ;  Irkutsk  contains  ten  printing  works  (there  are 
others  at  Omsk  and  Tomsk),  two  steam  sausage  manufactories, 
and  a  pearl-barley  factory.  Barnaul  has  a  soda  factory  and 
a  considerable  rope  factory  with  an  output  worth  £2,500  a 
year,  and  there  is  another  at  Minusinsk.  Usually  rope- 
walks  are  a  Kustarni  industry.  At  Kolivan  there  are  stone- 
polishing  works  which  belonged  to  the  Cabinet  of  the  Tsar. 
Vases  are  fashioned  of  marble,  jasper,  and  breccia,  but  the 
conditions  of  the  industry  are  said  to  have  remained  primitive. 

Near  Posiet  Bay,  Olgi  Bay,  and  other  bays  in  the  Maritime 
Province  seaweed  is  the  basis  of  a  valuable  iodine  industry. 
An  iodine  factory  has  just  been  built  at  Nakhodka  Bay  near 
Vladivostok,  and  in  1916  it  was  expected  that  8,000  tons  of 
the  weed  would  be  dealt  with.  It  is  now  to  be  cut  with 
hooks  and  not  torn  up  by  the  roots. 

Chinese  Industries  in  the  Far  East 
An  edible  seaweed,  variously  named,  sometimes  called 
'  sea  colewort ',  is  collected  in  the  south  of  Primorsk,  whence 
some  1,600  tons  are  annually  sent  to  Japan  and  China,  and  in 
Sakhalin,  whence  some  2,700-3,200  tons  are  annually  ex- 
ported. The  quality  depends  on  the  drying,  but  as  this  must 
be  done  on  stony  ground,  and  as  three  days  of  sun  without 
moisture  are  essential,  the  process  is  not  easy.  There  are 
three  qualities :  the  best  from  the  Maritime  Province  goes  to 
Shanghai,  the  rest  to  Chefoo.  Mention  has  been  made  of  the 
panty  made  from  deer  horns  (see  p.  56).  To  this  should  be 
added  the  gentian  root  which  is  found  in  the  depths  of  the 
virgin  forests  along  the  tributaries  of  the  Ussuri,  and  which  is 
supposed  by  the  Chinese  to  possess  marvellous  properties  as 
a  medicine.  It  sells  according  to  its  age,  the  older  the  more 
valuable,  at  £5  to  £23  a  pound.  The  Chinese  have  attempted 
to  grow  it  in  Russian  territory,  but  the  cultivated  root  sells 
for  only  25s.  a  pound.  America  meantime  exports  £160,000 
worth  of  the  root  to  China  annually  >, 



Timber — Agriculture  and  Stock-breeding — Mineral  Wealth — Fur  and 
Eider-down — Industry  and  Trade 


The  most  valuable  asset  of  northern  Russia  in  Europe  is 
its  forests.  In  the  Government  of  Arkhangel,  in  1897,  it  was 
estimated  that  out  of  211,356,000  acres  81,000,000  were 
forest — the  waste  land  amounted  to  129,000,000  acres,  while 
only  756,000  acres  were  available  for  agriculture.  Along  the 
Murman  Railway  there  are  great  timber  areas,  mostly  spruce 
and  pine.  As  there  is  a  good  supply  of  water-power  and 
•*  white  '  coal  in  the  neighbourhood,  these  could  be  profitably 
exploited.  Sawmills  are  the  principal  industry  of  this  govern- 
ment, but  their  number  might  be  indefinitely  increased,  and 
the  material  sawn  up  might  be  exported  in  its  manufactured 
form  :  at  present  it  is  mostly  logs  and  sawn  wood  that  are 
exported.  The  carpentering  that  is  done  in  the  country 
only  meets  the  needs  of  the  local  population  (see  p.  132). 
Sawmills  have  been  erected  at  Keret  and  at  other  settlements 
along  the  White  Sea  coast,  and  also  on  Kola  Inlet.  Large 
timber  concessions  on  the  Pechora  River  were  made  in  1916. 

A  cognate  industry  is  the  manufacture  of  pitch  and  tar, 
the  most  important  occupation  in  parts  of  the  Shenkursk 
district  and  in  other  parts  of  this  government.  This  might 
be  usefully  developed.  At  present  local  conditions  differ 
considerably  ;  the  rate  of  taxation  on  the  possessor  of  the 
woods  varies,  but  is  usually  too  high,  especially  in  the  extreme 
north,  where  the  period  of  production  is  shortest.  In  the 
state  lands  of  Arkhangel  the  peasants  have  certain  privileges, 


e.  g.  free  use  of  wood  for  heating  the  '  kettles  '  ;  in  some: 
parts  the  by-products  are  taxed.  When  the  country  is 
deforested  by  the  tar  industry,  care  should  be  taken  that; 
the  cleared  land  is  used  for  agriculture,  and  not  allowed 
to  decline  into  marsh-land.  At  present  a  large  part  of  the; 
population  are  employed  on  this  industry,  but  it  needs 
fostering  by  supplying  means  of  transport,  lowering  the 
taxes,  arranging  for  a  system  of  credit,  introducing  technical 
improvements  and  experimental  stations,  and  securing  that 
the  wood  left  over  is  utilized  in  the  sawmills  of  the  north 
coast  region.  There  are  extensive  works  in  the  district  of 
Velsk  between  Arkhangel  and  Vologda,  where  special  atten- 
tion is  paid  to  the  production  of  tar.  Pitch  is  exported 
principally  to  the  United  Kingdom  from  Arkhangel. 

Agriculture  and  Stock-breeding 
Agriculture  is  only  remunerative  in  the  Shenkursk  district 
near  the  Vaga,  in  the  southern  portions  of  Kholmogor,  Onega, 
and  Pinega,  and  on  the  '  summer  '  shore  of  the  south  coast 
of  the  White  Sea.  The  principal  crop  is  barley,  to  which 
a  large  proportion  of  the  farm  lands  is  devoted,  and  which 
is  probably  three  times  as  extensive  as  rye,  the  next  largest 
crop,  which  grows,  however,  up  to  Askino  in  the  estuary  of 
the  Pechora.  Oats  and  buckwheat  are  grown  less  extensively. 
The  local  harvests,  however,  only  meet  the  needs  of  one- 
third  of  the  population.  Other  crops  of  this  region  are 
potatoes,  peas,  beans,  cabbage,  turnips,  carrots,  spinach, 
sunflower,  hemp  (both  mezenskaya  and  a  larger  kind),  and 
flax.  The  Juravski  expedition  of  1909  reported  most  favour- 
ably on  the  prospects  and  present  condition  of  agriculture 
in  the  northern  Pechora  district,  adding  that  bad  harvest 
there  had  never  been  remembered  by  the  peasants.  There 
a  floating  grain-elevator  at  Arkhangel,  the  only  one  in  norther 

Cattle-breeding  could  be  made  very  successful.  Tl 
Kholmogor  breed,  established  by  Peter  the  Great,  by  int( 
breeding  the  local  cattle  with  others  introduced  from  Hollanc 


is  famous  for  .its  size,  beauty,  and  milk-producing  powers. 
The  alluvial  meadowland  along  the  Northern  Dvina,  Mezen, 
and  Pechora  is  good  for  cattle,  and  at  small  expense  the 
swamps  of  the  Arkhangel  Government  could  be  turned  into 
land  covered  with  rich  grass.  Of  the  756,000  acres  available 
for  agriculture  540,000  were  pasture  land  in  1897.  There 
were  at  that  date  in  the  Government  of  Arkhangel  114,962 
cattle,  145,590  sheep,  52,109  horses.  It  is  estimated  that  the 
as  of  this  region  feed  nearly  300,000  reindeer. 

Mineral  Wealth 

The  mineral  resources  of  the  country  are  little  developed. 
As  long  ago  as  the  chronicles  of  1558  gold  was  recorded  in 
bhe  sand  of  the  Rivers  Kola  and  Tuloma.  There  are  traces 
Df  silver,  lead,  and  zinc  everywhere  on  the  Murman  coast, 
and  iron  and  copper  are  present  elsewhere  in  the  Kola 
Peninsula.  Copper  used  to  be  worked  centuries  ago  on  the 
Tsilma,  a  tributary  of  the  Pechora.  Ores  with  80  per  cent,  of 
lead  have  been  found  on  the  River  Varsina.  Coal  is  found 
near  Onega  ;  naphtha  in  the  Pechora  district,  and  the  Utkinski 
oilfields  in  the  Cherdin  district  of  Arkhangel  are  said  to 
resemble  those  of  Pennsylvania ;  a  railway  projected  from 
Bogoslovski  to  the  White  Sea  will  open  them  up.  On  the 
j  summer  '  coast  of  the  White  Sea  there  is  found  a  rich  clay 
for  porcelain  of  a  bluish-white  colour. 

Fur  and  Eider-down 

The  fur  trade  has  decreased  considerably,  and  in  1902 
serious  measures  had  to  be  taken  in  order  to  preserve  what 
was  left  of  certain  valuable  animals,  e.  g.  the  ermine  and  the 
Arctic  fox.  In  1897  there  were  killed  in  the  Arkhangel 
Government  386,771  wild  animals,  and  242,666  brace  of 
birds,  with  a  total  value  of  £12,388.  Much  the  largest  number 
of  animals  were  squirrels,  viz.  384,189.  In  comparison  the 
rest  were  negligible.  Second  in  order  came  foxes,  of  which 
only  1,092  were  killed. 

u  2 


Eider-down   is   obtained   from   Ainov   Island,    where   the 
nesting-places  of  the  ducks  are  protected. 

Industry  and  Trade 

Most  of  the  industrial  occupations  of  the  inhabitants  have 
been  already  recorded.  Besides  these  should  be  mentioned 
the  tallow  industry  which  is  strongest  in  the  Kola  district, 
and  the  chamois  leather  industry,  which  is  strongest  in  the 
Pechora  district.  In  1897  the  manufactures  of  the  Arkhangel 
Government  were  worth  £773,160.  Among  the  industries 
were  shipbuilding,  leather,  canvas,  cordage  (though  most  of 
the  hemp  is  exported  for  the  fleets  of  other  countries),  nets, 
and  potash. 



Siberian  Boundaries — Governments  and  Territories — Administrative 
System — Administrative  Districts — Siberian  Towns — Local  Government 

Siberian  Boundaries  :   Political  and  Geographical 

The  governments  into  which  the  Russian  Empire  is  divided 
disregard  the  geographical  boundaries  of  Siberia.  The 
governments  of  Perm  and  Orenburg,  which  are  European, 
cross  the  Ural  Mountains  and  include  about  150,000  square 
miles  of  Asiatic  Russia,  and  the  south-west  portion  of  Siberia 
is  included  in  the  general  government  of  the  Steppes  (govern- 
ments of  Akmolinsk  and  Semipalatinsk),  which  is  administered 
from  Omsk,  and  the  northern  portion  of  Turgai,  which  belongs 
to  Central  Asia  politically,  would  geographically  be  assigned 
to  Siberia. 

Governments  and  Territories 

The  grouping  of  the  administrative  districts  has  constantly 
changed  and  further  changes  are  imminent.  The  old  division 
into  Western  and  Eastern  Siberia  is  given  up  ;  Western  Siberia 
used  to  consist  of  the  governments  of  Tobolsk  and  Tomsk, 
while  the  other  administrative  divisions  constituted  Eastern 
Siberia.  Now  in  all  Siberia  there  are  four  governments 
(Gubemiya),  Tobolsk,  Tomsk,  Yeniseisk,  Irkutsk  ;  eight 
territories  or  provinces  (Oblast),  Yakutsk,  Transbaikal,  Amur, 
Maritime  (Primorsk),  Kamchatka,  Turgai,  Akmolinsk, 
Semipalatinsk  (of  which  the  last  three  belong  to  Central  Asia 
and  the  Steppes),  and  one  division,  Sakhalin.  Some  of  these 
are  included  under  general  governments  :  the  general  govern- 
ment of  Irkutsk  includes  Irkutsk,  Yeniseisk,  Transbaikal,  and 
Yakutsk ;    the  general  government  of  the  Amur  (Priamur) 


includes  Amur,  Kamchatka,  Maritime,  and  Sakhalin,  and  the 
general  government  of  the  Steppes  includes  Akmolinsk  and 

The  old  Maritime  Province  is  now  divided  at  about  56°  N., 
the  northern  part  stretching  thence  to  the  Bering  Strait  being 
called  Kamchatka  ;  it  has  also  been  decided  to  transfer  the 
residence  of  the  governor  of  Sakhalin  (i.  e.  that  part  of  the 
island  north  of  lat.  50°  N.  which  Russia  has  retained  since  the 
Treaty  of  Portsmouth,  1905),  to  Nikolaevsk,  and  to  form  a  new 
district  to  be  known  as  the  Nevelski  district,  including  together 
with  northern  Sakhalin  the  central  part  of  the  Udsk  district 
in  which  Nikolaevsk  lies.  Also  the  boundaries  of  the  Amur 
province  are  to  be  enlarged  by  the  addition  of  the  south-east 
portion  of  Transbaikal,  and  two  new  districts  (Selemdzha 
and  Zeya)  are  to  be  formed. 

Administrative  System1 

Tobolsk  and  Tomsk  are  administered  on  the  same  system 
as  the  Governments  of  European  Russia,  and  the  Eastern 
provinces  will  be  administered  similarly,  with  civil  governors 
taking  the  place  of  military  governors  except  in  Kamchatka. 
Where  the  European  system  prevails  there  is  a  general  adminis- 
trative council,  presided  over  by  the  deputy-governor, 
directly  under  the  authority  of  the  Minister  of  the  Interior. 
Over  it  presides  a  civil  governor  representing  him,  who  is 
assisted  by  councillors  nominated  locally  and  approved  in 
Petrograd.  Usually  the  business  is  deputed  to  committees 
as  below  : 

(1)  Under  the  Minister  of  the  Interior — Department  for 
{a)  Urban  Affairs,  (b)  Peasant  Affairs,  (c)  Justice  ;  Prison 
Committee,  Education  Board,  Land  Valuation  Staff,  Public 
Health  Department. 

(2)  Under  the  Imperial  Finance  Minister — A  local  branch 
of  the  Imperial  Treasury  for  assessing  local  and  imperial  taxes. 

(3)  Under  the  Minister  of  Agriculture — Agricultural  Organ- 

1  At  the  time  of  the  Russian  revolution  in  1917. 


ization  Committee,  Local  Immigration  Committee,  Land 
Survey  Staff. 

(4)  Under  their  respective  central  bureaus — Ministry  of 
Trade  and  Commerce,  Local  Department  of  Justice,  Local 
Military  Authority. 

There  are  eight  members  elected  to  the  Imperial  Duma  from 
Siberia  by  indirect  vote. 

Each  province  is  divided  into  uyezds  (districts),  each  uyezd 
into  volosts  ;  each  volost  into  villages,  those  with  a  church 
being  styled  selo,  those  without  a  church  being  styled  derevnya. 
Over  the  uyezd  presides  a  uyesdi  nachalnik,  over  the  volost 
a  zasidatil,  over  the  village  a  starosta. 

Administrative  Districts 

Tobolsk.  Pop.  (estimated  1913),  2,005,000.  Area,  539,659 
square  miles.  Capital,  Tobolsk.  Districts  :  Tobolsk 
Tyumen,  Kurgan,  Tara,  Ishim,  Tyukalinsk,  Berezov,  Surgut, 
Turinsk,  Yalutorovsk.  Police  divisions,  30;  volosts,  &c,  270, 
rural  communities,  2,609  ;    other  settlements,  4,760. 

Tomsk.  Pop.  (estimated  1913),  3,919,000.  Area,  331,159 
square  miles.  Capital,  Tomsk.  Districts  :  Tomsk,  Barnaul, 
Biisk,  Kainsk,  Kuznetsk,  Mariinsk,  Zmyeinogorsk.  Police 
divisions,  31  ;  volosts,  &c,  294  ;  rural  communities,  3,194  : 
other  settlements,  3,350. 

Barnaul  is  the  head-quarters  of  the  Altai  Administration  and 
the  centre  of  the  '  Cabinet '  estates  (i.  e.  belonging  to  the  Tsar). 

Irkutsk.    General  Government.    Capital,  Irkutsk. 

Irkutsk.  Pop.  (estimated  1913),  733,000.  Area,  287,061 
square  miles.  Capital,  Irkutsk.  Districts:  Irkutsk,  Balagansk, 
Kirensk,  Nizhne-Udinsk,  Verkholensk,  Vitimsk.  Police  divi- 
sions, 25  ;  volosts,  &c,  116  ;  rural  communities,  579  :  other 
settlements,  2,336. 

Yeniseisk.  Pop.  (estimated  1913),  982,000.  Area,  987,186 
square  miles.  Capital,  Krasnoyarsk.  Districts :  Krasnoyarsk, 
Achinsk,  Kansk,  Minusinsk,  Yeniseisk,  Turukhansk,  Usinsk. 
Police  divisions,  21  ;  volosts,  &c,  103  ;  rural  communities, 
1,639;   other  settlements,  1,464. 


Yakutsk.  Pop.  (estimated  1913),  328,000.  Area,  1,533,397 
square  miles.  Capital,  Yakutsk.  Districts  :  Yakutsk,  Olek- 
minsk,  Sredne-Kolimsk,  Verkhoyansk,  Vilyuisk.  Police  divi- 
sions, 15  ;  volosts,  &c,  47  ;  rural  communities,  383  ;  other 
settlements,  337. 

Transbaikal.  Pop.  (estimated  1913),  920,000.  Area, 
236,868  square  miles.  Capital,  Chita.  Districts :  Chita, 
Barguzin,  Aksha,  Nerchinsk,  Nerchinski  Zavod,  Selenginsk, 
Troitskosavsk,  Verkhne-Udinsk.  Police  divisions,  25 ; 
volosts,  &c,  141  ;  rural  communities,  951  ;  other  settle- 
ments, 791. 

Amur  (Priamur).  General  Government.  Capital,  Kha- 

Amur.  Pop.  (estimated  1913),  241,000.  Area,  172,848 
square  miles.  Capital,  Blagovyeshchensk.  The  government 
is  military  and  divided  into  Cossack  regiments  and  battalions. 
Police  divisions,  7;  volosts,  &c,  23  ;  rural  communities,  325 ; 
other  settlements,  259. 

Maritime  Province  (Primorsk).  Pop.  (estimated  1913), 
604,000.  Area,  295,664  square  miles.  Capital,  Vladivostok. 
Districts  :  Khabarovsk,  Udsk,  Ussuri  Cossack,  South  Ussuri 
(Nikolsk-Ussuriski),  Iman,  Olgi.  Police  divisions,  19  ;  volosts, 
&c,  47  ;  rural  committees,  941  ;  other  settlements 

Kamchatka.  Pop.  (estimated  1913),  39,000.  Area,  503,777 
square  miles.  Capital,  Petropavlovsk.  Districts  :  Petropav- 
lovsk,  Okhotsk, Gizhiga,  Commander  Is.,Chukotsk(Chukchee), 
and  Anadir.     Police  divisions,  4  ;   settlements,  254. 

Sakhalin.  Pop.  (estimated  1913),  14,000.  Area,  15,334 
square  miles.  Capital,  Alexandrovsk.  The  province  is 
divided  into  two  districts,  Alexandrovski  and  Timovsk. 
Police  divisions,  4  ;  rural  communities,  35  ;  other  settle- 
ments, 35. 

Steppe.     General  Government.    Capital,  Omsk. 

Akmolinsk.  Pop.  (estimated  1913),  1,492,000.  Area, 
229,609  square  miles.  Capital,  Omsk.  Districts:  Akmolinsk, 
Atbasar,  Kokchetav,  Omsk,  Petropavlovsk.    Police  divisions, 


26 ;  volosts,  &c,  223  ;  rural  communities,  1,182  ;  other 
settlements,  579. 

Semipalatinsk.  Pop.  (estimated  1913),  862,000.  Area, 
184,631  square  miles.  Capital,  Semipalatinsk.  Districts  : 
Semipalatinsk,  Karkaralinsk,  Pavlodar,  Ust-Kamenogorsk, 
Zaisan.  Police  divisions,  20  ;  volosts,  163  ;  rural  communi- 
ties, 1,094  ;    other  settlements,  608. 

Of  the  other  provinces  of  the  Steppe  General  Government, 
Uralsk  does  not  concern  Siberia,  and  Turgai  does  only  in  its 
north-east  portion. 

The  district  of  Uryankhai;  round  the  upper  waters  of  the 
Yenisei,  is  nominally  part  of  Mongolia,  but  is  'under  the 
Russian  sphere  of  influence '. 

Siberian  Towns 

Origin. — The  old  towns  in  Siberia  are  either,  like  Yaluto- 
rovsk,  built  on  the  site  of  some  Tartar  city,  or,  like  Irkutsk  and 
many  others,  they  were  originally  stockaded  forts  erected  to 
keep  the  natives  quiet  and  to  form  the  centre  to  which  they 
brought  their  '  yassak  '.  Other  towns  have  owed  their  origin 
to  special  conditions  :  so  Yekaterinburg  grew  up  in  the 
eighteenth  century  as  the  centre  of  the  Ural  mining  district, 
and  more  recently  Bodaibo  as  a  mining  centre  in  the  Lena 
country  and  Novo-Nikolaevsk  as  the  place  where  the  Siberian 
railway  crosses  the  Ob. 

Appearance. — Siberian  towns  are  seldom  of  an  impressive 
appearance.  Most  of  the  private  houses  are  of  one  story  and 
of  wood,  though  a  disastrous  lire  in  Irkutsk  in  1879  led  to  an 
order  that  all  further  buildings  in  that  city  should  be  of  stone, 
so  that  it  has  a  more  distinctive  appearance.  The  public 
buildings  and  churches  are  usually  of  stone,  and  are  often  well 
built,  and  some  fine  cathedrals  have  recently  been  built. 
A  common  feature  in  Siberian  towns  is  the  triumphal  arch, 
usually  erected  to  commemorate  the  visit  of  some  Tsar  or 
Tsarevich.  The  bigger  towns  possess  a  number  of  schools, 
and  there  are  several  good  libraries  and  museums.  The 
bigger  towns  all  possess  theatres,  and  Krasnoyarsk  has  a  very 


fine  park.  There  are  often  good  private  residences  of  brick  or 
stone.  The  shops,  even  when  well  stocked,  make  a  poor 
display,  as  it  is  not  customary  to  show  the  goods  in  the  window. 
With  but  few  exceptions  the  hotels  are  poor,  except  for  the 
cuisine,  and  travellers  have  to  bring  their  own  bedding. 

In  the  older  towns  the  centre  often  has  irregular  and  winding 
streets,  but  the  rest  of  the  town  is  laid  out  with  extreme 
regularity  in  parallelograms.  The  streets  are  broad  :  paving, 
where  it  exists,  is  of  wood,  and  the  sea  of  mud  in  the  middle 
of  the  street  engulfs  (as  at  Khabarovsk)  the  cement  with 
which  it  is  attempted  to  give  it  a  surface.  The  station  is 
often  at  some  distance  from  the  town,  and  in  its  vicinity 
a  considerable  settlement  usually  springs  up. 

Industry  and  Commerce. — Siberia  is  not  a  manufacturing 
country  ;  many  of  the  factories,  even  in  the  towns,  employ 
merely  three  or  four  hands  ;  but  factories  on  a  bigger  scale  are 
developing  in  some  of  the  western  towns.  The  commonest 
industries  are  tanning,  soap-boiling,  brick-making,  milling, 
brewing,  and  the  distilling  of  brandy  or  vodka.  Near  the 
mining  districts  there  are  also  smelting  works  and  laboratories 
for  the  assay  of  precious  metals.  Some  towns  owe  their  im- 
portance to  the  exchange  of  goods,  and  there  are  places 
especially  where  Europe  and  Asia  exchange  their  goods  as  in 
Kyakhta,  where  the  teas  and  furs  of  China  are  brought  to  the 
great  exchange  courtyard,  and  Petropavlovsk,  where  the 
materials  and  Asiatic  goods  of  the  Kirghiz  steppe  are  brought 
to  the  historic  Barter  Court.  The  more  southerly  towns  have 
weekly  bazaars,  and  others  have  annual,  or,  more  frequently, 
biennial  fairs  of  great  importance. 

All  important  towns  are  described  in  the  chapters  on  the 
various  rivers  in  Volumes  II  and  III. 

Local  Government 
There  have  been  since  1894  municipal  Dumas  in  certain 
the  towns.     In  these  the  citizens  elect  a  town  council  (gore 
dkaya  duma)  whose  term  of  office  is  four  years  ;    and  this 
turn  appoints  a  board  of  aldermen  (gorodskaya  tiprava).     Tl 


former  is  deliberative  and  legislative  in  its  functions,  the  latter 
deliberative.  Both  boards  are  under  the  presidency  of  the 
mayor  (gorodskoe  golova).  The  electors  are  all  who  pay  the 
apartment-tax  (kvartemi  nalog). 

The  Mir. — The  institution  of  Zemstvos,  or  provincial 
assemblies,  has  never  been  extended  beyond  European  Russia, 
except  in  the  Asiatic  part  of  Perm.  The  great  difficulty  has 
been  that  Siberia  is  almost  exclusively  a  country  of  peasants, 
and  contains  no  educated  or  landowning  class.  The  propor- 
tion of  inhabitants  who  cannot  read  is  very  large,  and  to  such  a 
community  an  institution  like  the  Zemstvo  has  been  regarded 
as  inapplicable.  But  since  the  emancipation  of  the  serfs,  in 
1861,  the  Mir  (='  world'),  or  folk-moot  of  the  village  com- 
munity (a  very  ancient  institution),  has  been  organized,  and 
has  had  self-government.  It  is  the  assembly  of  the  peasants, 
and  no  one  except  a  peasant  can  have  a  vote  in  it.  With  this 
body  rests  the  allocation  of  village  lands.  It  assigns  to  each 
family  a  hut  and  yard  and  a  suitable  amount  of  land,  taking 
care  that  there  is  a  proper  proportion  of  arable,  pasture,  and 
forest -land.  The  average  amount  for  each  family  is  about 
40  acres,  but  an  additional  amount  is  assigned  to  each  male 
member.  A  new  division  is  made  every  fifteen  years,  and 
a  majority  of  two-thirds  can  re-allot  land.  Since  1906  a  peasant 
can  hold  his  land  in  perpetuity.  A  certain  amount  is  always 
set  aside  for  common  pasturage.  The  chairman  (selsJci 
starosta)  is  elected  annually — in  some  places  triennially — by 
the  male  inhabitants,  the  widows,  and  the  wives  of  absent  male 
residents .  The  decisions  of  the  Mir  are  allowed  to  be  unanimous, 
a  defeated  minority  withdrawing  its  opposition.  The  Mir 
has  also  judicial  rights  in  petty  cases. 

Powers  of  the  Mir  over  individuals. — It  is  not  usually  an 
enlightened  body,  and  it  is  apt  to  be  a  check  on  progress.  Its 
traditional  wisdom  is  likely  to  set  itself  against  unfamiliar 
experiments  in  farming,  and  it  puts  obstacles  in  the  way  of 
free  movement  about  the  country,  for  it  is  afraid  of  losing 
the  proportion  of  the  taxes  paid  by  the  individual  who  wishes 
to  migrate.    It  used  even  to  send  for  members  of  the  com- 


munity  who  had  thriven  in  the  towns  and  compel  them  to  1 
return  under  an  armed  escort  to  their  native  villages.    Those 
who  do  migrate  do  not  cease  to  be  members  of  their  Mir, 
and  frequently  one  who  has  prospered  in  town  life  contmues  % 
his  membership  of  the  village  community  and  the  payment   | 
of  his  quota  of  the  taxes.     Taxes  are  low  ;    the  total  of  the  .■ 
direct   peasant-taxes   paid   in   the   whole   of   the   Yeniseisk  1 
Government    amounts    to    £90,000,    which    works    out    atfl 
three  shillings  per  head  per  annum.     Custom  allows  the  Mir  I 
to  prevent  any  one  it  chooses  from  sharing  in  its  debates,  and  J 
the  law  permits  this,  provided  such  ostracism  is  not  enforced  | 
for  more  than  three  years.     But  there  is  a  more  extended  } 
power  that  it  exercises,  for  it  can  banish  any  undesirable  | 
person  from  the  community,  which  usually  means  in  European 
Russia  that  such  a  one  is  sent  to  Siberia.    In  many  years 
half  the  prisoners  sent  to  Siberia  have  been  so  banished. 

Volost  courts. — The  Mirs  are  combined  into  volosts  (cantonal 
assemblies)  which  elect  an  elder  (starishna)  and  small  tribunals  j 
(volostnye  sud)  for  settling  certain  civil  and  criminal  cases,  j 
The  starishna  (like  the  starosta  in  the  Mir)  is  assisted  in  his 
decisions  by  a  pizar  (secretary),  who  often  becomes  the  leading 
authority  in  the  village,  as  the  one  person  in  an  unlettered 
community  who  has  any  education  at  all.  The  pizar  is  usually 
out  of  touch  with  the  peasant  class  by  birth,  habits,  and  educa- 
tion ;  he  is  indifferent  to  their  welfare,  and,  being  ill-paid, 
is  constantly  on  the  look-out  for  means  of  improving  his 
position.  While  the  muzhiks  (peasants)  wear  the  national 
dress,  the  pizar  emphasizes  his  importance  by  wearing  '  Ger- 
man '  dress.  In  1911  an  attempt  was  made  to  get  rid  of  these 
volost  courts  ;  they  were  eventually  retained,  but  put  under 
the  supervision  of  local  boards  of  magistrates,  who  constitute 
in  this  instance  courts  of  appeal.  In  the  volost  the  vote  is 
not  necessarily  unanimous,  but  there  may  be  a  majority. 
What  is  dispensed  in  these  courts  is  patriarchal  justice  based 
on  customary  law.  Civil  cases  involving  less  than  the  value 
of  100  roubles  come  within  their  competence,  as  also  do  more 
important  cases,  provided  that  both  parties  to  the  suit  agree 


to  such  an  arrangement.  They  can  exact  fines  up  to  3  roubles 
or  inflict  seven  days'  arrest.  They  are  also  charged  with 
maintenance  of  order  in  the  Mir  and  in  the  family.  There  is 
no  appeal  (other  than  in  cases  of  banishment)  against  the 
volost-court,  unless  it  has  acted  ultra  vires.  Such  appeals 
are  lodged  before  the  assembly  of  rural  surveyors. 

Other  forms  of  lower  courts. — Besides  the  volost-courts, 
which  apply  mainly  to  the  normal  Russian  settler,  there  are 
other  varieties  of  lower  courts.  In  the  military  lands  of  the 
Cossacks  there  are  stanichni  courts,  which  deal  not  only  with 
the  affairs  of  the  Cossacks,  but  with  those  of  the  tribes  under 
their  jurisdiction.  The  courts  operate  under  the  jurisdiction 
of  the  atamans  of  their  districts.  Appeals  are  lodged  before 
the  Cossack  '  Provincial  Economic  Administration  of  the 
Cossack  Armies  '.  The  judges  are  elected  by  the  Cossack 
assembly.  In  the  Steppes  the  narodni  court  proceeds  according 
to  customary  right  (adat)  or  the  written  Musulman  law 
(shariat).  For  the  latter  there  exist  special  Musulman  lawyers 
(mufti).  These  courts  exercise  extensive  jurisdiction  in  civil 
and  criminal  affairs  :  e.  g.  they  can  punish  theft  with  imprison- 
ment for  a  year  and  a  half.  The  narodni  judges  (kazi-bii) 
are  chosen  at  the  three -yearly  sessions  of  the  volost  delegates. 
They  must  be  thirty -five  years  of  age  and  must  have  certain 
educational  qualifications.  In  the  Buryat  districts  of  the 
Transbaikal  Province  there  are  special  tribal  courts,  which 
settle  the  affairs  of  the  Buryats  on  the  basis  of  existing  Buryat 
customs,  which  are  founded  on  the  ground  of  old  Mongol 
steppe  laws.  They  have  jurisdiction  in  certain  kinds  of  civil 
cases,  where  there  is  no  limit  to  the  amount  of  claim  ;  in 
others  the  limit  is  assigned  at  £200  :  in  criminal  cases  they 
can  inflict  fines  of  £30  or  imprisonment  of  six  months 
for  a  first  offence.  There  is  an  appeal  against  their  decisions 
to  the  rural  surveyors.  They  were  established  in  their 
rights  by  a  law  of  1901.  Among  the  more  vagabond  nomad 
tribes  there  are  so-called  verbal  courts  (slovesnaya  raprava), 
in  which  the  procedure  is  by  word  of  mouth.  Another  system, 
called  the  Turkoman  system,  is  employed  in  central  Asia. 


Bureaucratic  control  of  local  government. — These  democratic 
elements  are  counterbalanced  by  restrictions  from  a  central 
and  bureaucratic  authority.  There  is  a  power  of  general 
supervision  lodged  in  the  '  district  committee  for  the  affair 
of  peasants '.  From  1899-1912  there  were  rural  supervisors 
(zemski  nachalniki),  but  their  place  has  now  been  taken 
by  the  reformed  cantonal  courts,  indirectly  elected  by  the 
Mir s,  whose  jurisdiction  is  confined  to  peasant  cases.  The 
zemski  nachalnik  among  other  functions  used  to  administer 
the  zemski  smet,  i.e.  that  proportion  of  the  imperial  taxes 
which  is  allotted  by  the  Imperial  Treasury  for  such  purposes 
as  roads,  bridges,  &c.  In  those  towns  which  have  municipal 
institutions  this  is  administered  by  the  town  council. 

Principal  officials. — The  governor  of  the  province  appoints 
over  each  district  (uchastok)  an  official  (ispravnik  or  uyesdi 
nachalnik)  who  acts  as  his  representative  and  is  the  local 
commissioner  of  police.  He  in  turn  appoints  his  commissaries 
(stanovoi  pristav),  who  are  a  sort  of  subordinate  police- 
officials,  acting  as  an  alternative  to  the  volost-courts  for  those 
who  care  to  bring  their  cases  before  them  ;  but  this  often 
involves  travelling  some  distance,  and,  even  when  they  are 
accessible,  they  are  usually  ignorant  and  illiterate  men, 
without  any  knowledge  of  the  law.  He  also  appoints  the 
krestyanski  nachalnik,  who  collects  the  taxes,  and  the  mirabui 
sud  or  justice  of  the  peace.  There  are  appeal  courts  consti- 
tuted of  these  latter,  together  with  two  representatives  of  the 
volost-court.  There  is  a  justice  of  the  peace  for  every  three  or 
four  volosts. 

Information  about  the  government  of  the  various  native 
tribes  will  be  found  in  the  chapter  that  deals  with  them, 
under  the  headings  of  the  separate  tribes. 





ads  and  Travelling — Sledging — Telegraphs  and  Cables — Wireless 

Roads  and  Travelling 

The  Trakt  and  other  main  roads. — The  great  military  road 
of  Siberia,  called  the  Trakt,  was  definitely  constructed  early 
in  the  eighteenth  century,  though  there  are  references  to  such 
a  road  as  early  as  the  sixteenth  century.  Four  main  roads 
converge  on  Omsk,  passing  through  the  Urals  by  way  of  the 
towns  of  Verkhoture,  Yekaterinburg,  Zlatoust,  and  Verkh- 
ne-Uralsk :  from  Omsk  the  great  road  passes  by  way  of  Tomsk 
and  Krasnoyarsk  to  Irkutsk,  Chita,  and  Stryetensk.  The  old 
important  route  of  the  tea  trade  goes  south  into  China  from 
Verkhne-Udinsk,  while  beyond  Chita  an  inferior  read  continues 
to  Blagovyeshchensk  after  which  a  better  road  goes  to 
Khabarovsk.  Only  very  bad  roads  go  on  to  Nikolaevsk  and 
Vladivostok.  Other  important  roads  branch  off  to  the  north 
from  Tulunovskoe  and  Irkutsk  to  Yakutsk  and  beyond,  to  the 
south  from  Omsk  to  Semipalatinsk  and  the  Chinese  frontier 
via  Kosh-Agach,  from  Gryaznukha  to  Barnaul,  and  from 
Achinsk  to  Minusinsk.  Along  the  lines  of  the  Rivers  Lena 
and  Amur  the  roads  are  a  less  popular  method  of  communica- 
tion than  the  rivers,  which  are  navigated  in  summer  by 
steamers  and  used  by  sledges  as  frozen  roads  in  winter,  the 
posthouses  being  often  along  the  banks  of  the  rivers  and  away 
from  the  roads. 

Seasons  for  travelling. — The  worst  seasons  for  travelling  in 
Siberia  are  the  autumn,  when  the  frosts  are  beginning,  and 
the  spring  when  they  break  up.  These  two  seasons  are  called 
in  Russian  rasputitsa.     In  summer  travellers  in  the  steppe 


districts  suffer  much  from  the  dust,  which  often  rises  above 
the  axle-trees,  and  is  ready  to  be  converted  into  a  sea  of  mud 
by  the  rain  ;  in  winter  the  travelling  is  mainly  by  sledge,  and 
the  frozen  rivers  add  available  roads.  The  Lena  and  the 
Amur  are  staked  with  double  rows  of  pine  branches  to  indicate 
the  tracks. 

Posting. — Along  all  the  main  roads  are  posting-houses  at 
irregular  intervals,  usually  about  12  to  20  miles  apart.  There 
has  long  been  an  efficient  posting  system  in  Russian  Asia  ;  in 
fact  an  effective  organization  of  the  posts  was  made  in  Siberia  j 
earlier  than  in  Europe.  The  Government  appoints  the  post- 
masters, and  they  are  allowed  to  make  such  terms  as  they 
choose,  but  the  ordinary  tariff  is  1J  kopeks  the  verst  for  each 
horse  in  western  Siberia,  and  3  kopeks  in  eastern  Siberia  and 
the  north  generally  ;  in  addition  there  is  a  Government  tax 
(pogron)  of  10  kopeks  per  horse  on  each  stage.  Among  the 
nomad  tribes  the  traveller  has  to  use  tents  (yurtas)  instead  of 
posthouses,  and  the  route  will  change  according  to  the  season 
of  the  year.  There  is  no  fixed  rate  of  payment,  but  the  charges 
depend  upon  the  local  Russian  official.  The  posthouse  is 
usually  the  nucleus  of  a  small  population,  the  position  of  which 
it  has  determined.  Those  who  breed  and  provide  posthorses 
are  exempt  from  the  imperial  poll-tax  (17  roubles).  At  each 
posting  station  15  to  30  horses  are  kept,  and  about  one-third 
of  that  number  of  tarantasses,  provoloki  (two-wheeled  cars), 
sledges  and  drivers  in  attendance.  It  is  customary  for 
travellers  to  purchase  their  own  vehicles  for  the  journey  : 
sometimes  if  they  are  fortunate  they  can  sell  them  advan- 
tageously at  the  end  of  their  route.  Thus  in  places  beyond 
Lake  Baikal,  like  Stryetensk,  where  iron  axles  are  not  manu- 
factured, it  is  easy  to  sell  at  a  profit  a  tarantass  which 
possesses  these  advantages.  But  a  traveller  from  the  east  to 
the  west  is  not  likely  to  make  a  good  bargain,  when  he  sells  his 
carriage  at  the  end  of  his  journey.  Those  who  do  not  travel 
with  their  own  vehicle,  must  travel  na  perekladnikh,  changing 
their  tarantass  at  every  stage,  and  adding  considerably  to  the 
delays  which  are  already  vexatious  enough.    It  is  also  possible 


at  times  to  travel  in  a  carriage  that  the  owner  wants  returned 
to  his  residence. 

Travellers  are  served  with  horses  in  the  order  of  their 
arrival,  but  methods  are  adopted  to  discourage  racing  on  the 
road,  so  as  to  pass  other  travellers  who  are  farther  ahead  on 
the  same  stage.  The  mail  service,  which  carries  no  passengers, 
takes  priority  of  private  travellers,  and  it  is  not  uncommon  for 
a  traveller  who  has  seen  his  fresh  horses  harnessed  to  his 
tarantass  to  have  them  removed  and  transferred  to  the 
imperial  mail  which  has  arrived.  A  further  necessary  delay 
occurs  at  intervals  when  the  wheels  are  taken  off  to  be  greased. 
The  horses  and  drivers  do  not  go  beyond  their  next  posting 
stage,  though  sometimes  by  arrangement  a  returning  team 
and  driver  will  exchange  places  with  those  who  meet  them.  It 
is  difficult  to  arrange  to  stop  between  the  posting-stages. 

The  Podorozhna. — Formerly  it  was  necessary  to  have  a 
podorozhna,  or  Government  permit  to  travel,  in  order  to  avail 
oneself  of  the  advantages  of  the  posting  system,  but  this  re- 
quirement is  now  obsolete,  though  the  podorozhna  still  confers 
advantages.  It  is  especially  important  in  districts  Avhere 
there  are  many  political  exiles  and  where  the  restrictions  on 
travelling  are  numerous,  and  even  elsewhere  a  driver  may 
refuse  to  supply  the  horses,  dogs,  or  reindeer  required. 
Travellers  who  refer  to  the  needlessness  of  it  are  thinking  of 
the  better  known  parts,  where  its  claims  to  give  priority  of 
treatment  are  somewhat  in  dispute. 

Posthouses. — Posthouses  are  all  on  the  same  model.  Like 
the  other  houses  of  the  villages  they  are  of  logs.  The  only 
distinguishing  mark  is  two  wooden  pillars  painted  black 
and  white,  surmounted  by  the  imperial  arms  in  front  of  the 
entrance.  They  differ  in  cleanliness  and  comfort,  but  not  in 
architectural  plan.  In  all  there  are  at  least  two  rooms,  one 
for  the  postmaster  and  his  family,  the  other  for  the  travellers. 
In  a  few  there  may  be  a  cot  or  two,  but  ordinarily  there  is 
merely  space  to  lie  on  the  floor,  the  traveller  bringing  with 
him  such  bedding  or  rugs  as  he  chooses.  The  rooms  are  about 
20  ft.  by  18  ft.,  and  are  heated  by  a  huge  brick  stove  in  the 


party-wall.     The  floor  has  no  carpet*  and  the  onl}r  furniture 
as  a  rule  is  a  small  table  and  two  hard  wooden  chairs,  with 
sometimes  a  wooden  sofa  or  bench  along  the  walls.     Those 
near  the  towns  are  the  dirtiest,  and  travellers  will  find  them-1 
selves  almost  everywhere  much  troubled  by  insects  and  some- 1 
times  rats.    The  best  are  on  some  of  the  side  routes  ;  thus  on] 
the  Kupetski  track,  which  leads  south  of  Lake  Baikal  tol 
Kyakhta,  the  posthouses  are  much  better  than  on  the  Great! 
Post  Road.     On  the  walls  is  a  regulation  price  list  of  food  andl 
drink,  but  in  most  cases  this  document  merely  deals  with  the  I 
hypothesis  of  what  would  be  charged  if  the  food  were  there.  ] 
Normally  all  that  can  be  obtained  is  hot  water,  salted  fish,  and  I 
black  bread,  though  in  western  Siberia  milk  and  eggs  are 
fairly  plentiful.     Meat  is  rare,  and  seldom  good.     Travellers 
should  bring  their  own  food,  as  well  as  their  bedding  and  a 
supply  of  rope  and  a  hatchet  for  repairs  on  the  road.     Each 
posting-station  is  provided  with  a  black  book  for  complaints. 
A  record  is  also  kept  of  the  time  of  arrival  and  departure  of 
each  visitor,  if  there  is  a  clock  on  the  spot.     Even  in  hotels 
in  the  towns  the  washing  accommodation  is  of  the  inostj 
limited  and  primitive  sort. 

Yamshchiks. — The  yamshchik  is  changed  at  every  stage  with 
the  horses.  He  exj)ects  a  gratuity  (called  na  chai,  '  for  tea  '),] 
which  is  sometimes  10  kopeks,  but  more  usually  15  from 
prudent  travellers,  for,  although  there  is  supposed  to  be  a, 
regulation  speed  of  12  versts  an  hour,  the  pace  to  some  extent 
depends  on  the  generosity  of  the  driver's  employer.  An 
ordinary  stage  of  about  16  miles  will  be  done  in  a  little  over 
two  hours,  and  for  a  journey  day  and-  night  200  versts  is 
considered  good.  Three  hundred  versts  can  be  secured  by 
a  special  effort,  but  is  regarded  as  cruel  to  the  horses.  The 
driver  is  provided  with  a  whip,  and  a  curry-comb  of  a  primitn 
kind  attached  to  the  handle  of  his  whip  for  removing  ice  fr< 
the  horses'  coats.  Care  should  be  taken  that  the  yamsht 
conveys  the  traveller  for  the  whole  distance  that  he  has  c( 
cnanted,  and  docs  not  deposit  him  at  an  intermediate  stage 
Ilorxes. — A  team  of  horses  is  called  a  troika,  being  norm* 


three ;  but  often  a  larger  number  are  employed,  sometimes  as 
many  as  seven.  The  middle  horse  goes  under  the  big  wooden 
bow  (duga),  which  is  often  elaborately  carved,  and  to  it  are 
[attached  bells,  which  are  only  allowed  to  be  rung  on  the  high 
iroad,  and  removed  on  entering  a  town.  The  middle  horse 
trots  in  the  shafts,  while  the  others  gallop  with  their  heads 
turned  far  out.  Sometimes  where  the  roads  are  bad,  the 
horses  are  harnessed  tandem.  The  horses  are  poor  in  appear- 
ance, but  splendid  for  going  :  they  are  usually  14  to  16 
hands.  Every  horse  is  given  six  hours'  rest  at  the  end  of 
a  stage. 

Vehicles. — The  ordinary  conveyance  is  a  tarantass,  a  rude, 
strong  carriage  of  four  wheels  without  springs,  suited  to  its 
purpose  of  transit  over  these  rough  and  jolting  roads.  The 
body  of  the  carriage  is  borne  on  two  long,  elastic  poles,  which 
rest  on  the  axles  of  the  front  and  back  wheels.  In  front  is 
a  box  for  the  driver.  In  the  carriage  is  no  seat,  but  passengers, 
of  whom  there  is  room  for  two,  lie  on  the  floor,  which  is  covered 
with  straw,  which  travellers  will  supplement  with  pillows  and 
mattresses  for  night  travelling.  Behind  is  a  sort  of  hood, 
and  the  whole  back  part  of  the  carriage  can  be  cut  off  entirely 
by  stretching  a  tarpaulin  to  the  coach  box  when  it  is  wet.  The 
luggage  can  be  strapped  behind.  The  shafts  are  made  fast/ 
to  the  duga  to  keep  them  clear  of  the  horses'  sides.  Two- 
wheeled  cars  are  called  provoloki,  and  are  especially  used  in  the 
taiga.  A  more  primitive  and  rougher  kind  of  conveyance  is 
the  telega,  which  is  often  used  as  a  cart  to  carry  luggage,  and 
as  such  often  accompanies  the  convoys  of  prisoners  who  march 
to  their  distant  settlements  in  Siberia.  In  towns  there  are 
other  kinds  of  vehicles  :  e.  g.  in  Tomsk  the  droshki  is  a  low 
jaunting-car,  in  which  two  travellers  sit  back  to  back  on 
a  plank  about  18  inches  wide  ;  in  Irkutsk  the  droshki  has 
been  compared  to  a  sort  of  hoodless  bath-chair. 

Condition  of  Roads. — The  regulation  breadth  of  the  main 
roads  in  the  western  parts  is  21  ft.,  and  of  the  smaller  roads 
14  ft.  :  the  great  breadth  of  the  road  is  due  to  the  cheapness 
of  the  land.     At  the  side  arc  broad  stretches  of  grass  for  riding 

X  2 


and  walking,  and  even  for  driving,  when  that  becomes  im- 
possible on  the  road.  Also  the  telegraph  line  has  a  broad 
space  where  all  trees  and  bushes  are  removed,  and  there  also 
it  is  possible  to  ride  and  drive,  when  necessary.  Even  bigger 
departures  from  the  road  arc  not  unusual.  One  traveller 
mentions  that  east  of  Tomsk  there  is  practically  no  road,  but 
the  yamshchiks  take  their  own  route.  Another  traveller1 
records  that  it  is  not  uncommon  in  the  part  west  of  Irkutsk 
to  leave  the  road,  and  take  a  short  cut  through  the  taiga  by1 
a  track.  The  methods  of  road-making  are  primitive.  Ap- 
parently the  best  surfaces  are  in  the  Government  of  Yeniseisk. 
In  the  Governments  of  Tobolsk  and  Tomsk  the  roads  are  very 
muddy  ;  east  of  Irkutsk  they  deteriorate,  and  beyond  Lake 
Baikal  they  are  the  worst  of  all.  The  centre  of  the  road  is 
often  cut  to  pieces  by  the  big  caravans  that  pass  over  it, 
especially  in  early  autumn,  to  such  an  extent  that  traffic  is 
almost  impossible.  The  best  part  of  the  Trakt  is  between 
Krasnoyarsk  and  Irkutsk  ;  near  Kansk  it  has  been  declared 
excellent,  with  a  hard  even  surface.  Verdicts  pronounced 
on  special  parts  of  the  road  differ  exceedingly  ;  near  Abatskoe, 
where  the  roads  from  Tyumen  and  Tobolsk  meet,  a  motor- 
driver  has  pronounced  it  a  sea  of  mud,  stretching  wide  on 
both  sides  of  the  road,  and  only  passable  by  the  indication  of 
the  telegraph  posts,  and  between  that  point  and  Omsk  the 
ruts  were  said  to  be  sometimes  20  inches  deep.  The  ruts  are 
so  marked  in  many  roads  that  yantshchiks  will  sometimes 
refuse  to  accept  vehicles  of  greater  width.  In  the  vicinity  of 
many  towns  the  roads  are  bad  ;  specially  unfavourable  com- 
ments have  been  made  on  them  at  Tomsk,  near  Bogotolskoe 
(at  the  boundary  of  western  and  eastern  Siberia),  Achinsk, 
west  of  Krasnoyarsk,  and  west  of  Chita,  where  a  somewhat 
sandy  track  is  described  as  winding  capriciously  through  the 
depths  of  a  thick  forest.  The  road  from  Irkutsk  to 
Baikal  at  Listvenichnoe  is  described  as  good,  and  the  road 
the  south-east  side  of  the  lake  as  difficult  but  good.  A  p* 
ticular  portion  of  the  road  will  change  its  character  vei 
rapidly,  and  different  accounts  of  its  surface  arc  given 


different  travellers  who  have  passed  over  it  at  comparatively 
short  intervals  of  time. 

Streets  in  Towns. — In  the  towns  conditions  are  at  their 
worst :  there  is  no  regular  paving.  Nansen  describes  the 
streets  of  Yeniseisk  as  '  muddy  and  full  of  deep  ruts  '.  Along 
the  sides  of  the  streets  are  wooden  planks  to  serve  as  footways : 
usually  these  are  fringed  with  a  line  of  posts  to  mark  them  off 
from  vehicular  traffic,  when  roadway  and  footpath  alike  are 
under  snow. 

Theft. — Thieves,  who  are  often  escaped  convicts  {brodyagi), 
are  alleged  to  frequent  certain  parts  of  the  roads  ;  parts  that 
have  been  specially  indicated  are  between  the  Lena  and 
Irkutsk  (1904),  and  the  parts  of  the  Trakt  between  Nizhne- 
Udinsk  and  Kutulikskoe  (1889).  The  brodyagi  were  often  in 
alliance  with  the  yamschihs  ;  they  were  usually  armed  with 
bludgeons,  but  did  not  carry  firearms. 

Verst-posts,  telegraphs,  &c. — Along  the  sides  of  some  of  the 
roads  are  verst-posts  with  square  tops  cut  in  such  a  way  that 
the  traveller  can  easily  see  the  distance  that  he  has  traversed 
from  the  last  posting-station  and  the  distance  that  he  has  to 
pass  before  reaching  the  next.  At  the  posting-stations  are 
boards  affixed  which  show  the  distances  to  Petrograd  and 
other  important  towns.  There  are  telegraph  stations  along 
the  important  roads,  the  lines  of  telegraph  being  usually  in 
broad  lanes  at  the  side  of  the  road.  It  has  been  recorded  by 
one  writer  that  in  some  places  over  the  steppes  the  telegraph 
wires  are  laid  along  the  ground  for  20  cr  30  versts  in  order  to 
avoid  the  violent  storms  that  sweep  over  those  localities.  This 
is  said  to  be  especially  true  of  the  neighbourhood  of  Mariinsk 
and  Krasnoyarsk.  At  the  entrance  to  villages  are  gates, 
guarded  by  a  watchman  :  these  are  kept  closed  during  the 
summer,  to  prevent  animals  straying  into  the  village,  but  are 
open  during  the  winter. 

Bridges  and  ferries. — Bridges  are  flimsy  and  short-lived 
wooden  structures,  with  low  hand-rails.  For  all  the  wider 
rivers  there  are  ferries.  On  the  Yenisei  near  Krasnoyarsk 
the  river  is  crossed  where  two  islands  lie  in  mid-stream.     The 


islands  are  reached  from  the  banks  by  ferries,  and  are  united 
by  a  short  bridge.  Among  other  places  on  the  great  post  road 
there  are  ferries  at  Omsk,  Dubrovinskoe,  Tomsk,  Mariinsk, 
Achinsk,  Bolshe-Kemchug,  Kansk,  Nizhne-Udinsk,  and  Zimin- 
skoe.  There  are  four  kinds  of  ferries — (1)  one  kind  is  pro- 
pelled by  horses,  who  work  it  by  being  driven  round  in  circles 
— there  is  an  example  of  this  found  at  Tomsk  ;  (2)  a  second 
jkind  is  propelled  by  oars  ;  (3)  a  third  kind  is  a  pendulum- 
boat,  which  takes  advantage  of  the  current  of  the  stream — 
there  is  an  example  on  the  Yenisei  near  Krasnoyarsk  ;  (4)  and  j 
a  fourth  is  a  cable-boat  worked  by  a  wheel. 


The  normal  method  of  travelling  throughout  Siberia  during 
the  winter  and  in  northern  Siberia  during  the  whole  year  is 
by  sledging.  The  sledges  are  drawn  by  horses,  reindeer,  or 
dogs  in  the  various  districts,  horses  being  employed  in  the 
south,  and  reindeer  and  dogs  in  the  north,  the  latter  exclusively 
by  certain  tribes  such  as  the  Kamchadal. 

Nature  of  ordinary  sledge. — The  ordinary  sledge  is  called 
a  narta  :  it  is  a  narrow  vehicle  from  9  to  14  ft.  long  by  30  ins. 
broad,  fitted  with  a  movable  hood  (koshma),  which  can  be 
drawn  completely  over  during  storms  or  severe  cold  :  the 
traveller  must  beware  of  letting  it  rest  on  his  face  during 
sleep,  for  it  may  cause  frost-bite.  The  narta  is  a  very  light 
vehicle,  and  pitches  heavily  when  it  is  traversing  rough 
ground .  The  traveller  can  lie  at  full  length.  The  runners  are 
usually  made  of  birch  poles,  and  the  fabric  is  kept  together  with 
cords,  as  nails  would  be  jerked  out  almost  at  once.  A  Samo- 
yede  sledge  has  two  large  thick  runners  curved  up  at  the  end 
in  front  to  a  height  of  two  feet.  On  each  side  are  four  up- 
rights, placed  rather  close  together  towards  the  rear.  These 
slope  upwards  and  inwards  until  at  2  ft.  they  are  united 
together  by  stout  bars,  which  act  as  cross-overs  and  make  the 
floor  of  the  sledge  :  the  long  pieces  are  called  bereznyas  ;  on 
this  floor  is  put  the  luggage,  and  the  driver  sits  on  it  or  just 
in  front.     In  some  parts  of  Siberia  the  driver  sits  beside 


a  perpendicular  '  bow  '  of  stout  wood  which  rises  some  4|  ft. 
from  the  ground,  about  one-third  of  the  distance  from  the 
front  to  the  back  of  the  sledge.  He  avoids  obstacles  by 
pulling  this  way  or  that  by  means  of  the  '  bow  '.  The  harray 
is  a  stout  steel-shod  stick  15  ft.  in  length  with  a  cord  attached 
to  the  end  ;  it  can  be  used  as  a  brake  by  putting  it  between 
the  runners,  or  the  sledge  can  be  anchored  to  it.  The  point 
can  be  used  for  testing  the  ice  when  crossing  a  river. 

Other  hinds  of  sledges. — There  are  also  the  balog,  a  sort  of 
family  sledge  or  gipsy-car  on  runners,  covered  with  tarpaulin 
and  skins,  which  can  even  contain  a  cooking-stove ;  the  vashok, 
which  is  entirely  enclosed  '  like  a  huge  brougham  on  runners  ' ; 
the  kackovka,  a  great  open  sledge,  roughly  made  of  wood  and 
matting,  and  with  no  covering  save  a  piece  of  matting  or  felt 
to  spread  over  the  recumbent  travellers  ;  the  pavoska,  which 
is  described  as  a  large,  deep,  roughly-built  sledge,  open  in 
front,  but  covered  in  at  the  back  with  a  canvas  hood  lined 
with  thick  felt  :  the  driver's  seat  consists  of  a  flat  board,  from 
which  slope  outwards  and  downwards  a  pair  of  stout  poles 
to  save  the  vehicle  in  case  of  collision. 

Reindeer  liarnessed  to  sledges. — Between  two  and  five  rein- 
deer are  normally  used  for  the  sledge,  though  as  many  as 
eight  were  seen  by  Nansen  drawing  a  balog.  The  Lapps, 
who  have  bigger  reindeer,  only  use  one  at  a  time.  A  rein- 
deer will  draw  a  load  of  400  lb.  over  snow,  and  to  a  sledge 
which  had  a  load  of  800  lb.  of  blubber  only  two  were 
harnessed.  The  Samoyede  harnesses  his  reindeer  by  an 
ingenious  system  (described  at  length  in  Jackson,  Great  Frozen 
Land,  p.  115),  which  compels  each  deer  to  do  his  share  of  the 
work,  by  a  couple  of  chulki  ('  tackle-blocks  ')  made  of  wood  or 
walrus  ivory,  through  which  the  trace  runs  from  the  near  to 
the  offside  reindeer.  The  same  writer  drove  three  reindeer  for 
120  versts  (1  Samoyede  or  Reindeer  verst  =  4  Russian  versts) 
within  12  hours  without  feeding  them,  and  they  went  the 
last  10  versts  as  well  as  the  first,  and  were  quite  fresh  after 
two  days'  rest.  The  reindeer  is  independent  of  roads  ;  he 
will  find  his  food  under  the  snow,  which  he  scrapes  away  with 


his  hoofs  for  a  depth  of  2  ft.  or  more,  but  ice  may  cut  him  off 
from  his  moss,  and  then  he  will  soon  be  in  poor  condition 
All  that  he  requires  is  protection  from  wild  beasts,  among  his  | 
special  enemies  being  the  wolverine,  black  bear,  and  polar  ■ 
wolf.  If  unharnessed  at  any  time  he  must  be  hobbled,  or  he  I 
will  return  even  40  or  50  miles  to  rejoin  the  herd.  His  mostB 
frequent  complaint  is  hoof -swelling.  (For  the  breeding  anda 
habits  of  the  reindeer  see  Chapter  V.) 

Reindeer  riding. — The  reindeer  is  sometimes  ridden,  but  not  J 
on  the  back,  which  would  cripple  it.     The  saddle  is  on  the  1 
shoulders,  and  the  rider  gains  his  seat  by  means  of  a  pole   I 
in  his  right  hand,  not  touching  the  saddle  with  his  hands.  1 
To  keep  his  seat  he  practises  a  swinging  movement,  balancing  I 
himself  with  his  pole,  but  it  is  unwise  to  put  it  to  the  ground  1 
to  steady  himself,  for  he  will  probably  be  dismounted.    Again, 
if  he  grips  with  his  knees  so  that  the  cushion  slips  back,  the 
reindeer,  feeling  the  weight,  will  bend  under  his  haunches  and 
deposit  the  rider  on  the  ground.     The  Soyots  use  reindeer 
for  riding  among  the  Sayansk  Mountains,  as  their  food  is 
more  easily  available  than  that  of  horses.     They  ride  with 
two  reindeer,  one  serving  as  pack-animal  and  relief.    A  Soyot, 
whose  average  weight  is  4  puds  in  his  furs,  can  ride  a  reindeer, 
while  a  Russian  cannot. 

Dogs  harnessed  to  sledges. — The  dogs  employed  by  the 
Samoyedes  are  like  Eskimo  dogs,  but  somewhat  smaller  ; 
those  used  by  the  Kamchadals  are  said  to  resemble  wolves. 
Usually  there  are  6  or  8  dogs  in  a  team.  Most  tribes  are  kind 
to  their  dogs,  and  in  some  places  (as  along  the  Yenisei)  they 
are  even  given  the  warmest  place  over  the  brick-oven  to  sleeji 
on  when  they  come  in  tired,  and  whoever  may  be  there  has 
to  vacate  it  for  them.  They  can  go  60  miles  at  a  stretch 
without  being  fed.  In  the  Yenisei  district  a  good  sledge  dog 
is  worth  160  roubles,  but  such  are  not  easily  obtained,  for 
a  dog  is  of  very  little  use  for  draught  purposes  unless  he  has 
been  reared  by  his  owner.  A  young  puppy  can  be  bought 
for  a  rouble.  Older  dogs  are  seldom  bought  except  for  breed- 
ing purposes.     When   running  in  the  sledge  dogs,  w  ho  ha 


known  one  another  since  they  were  puppies  must  be  paired  : 
it  is  the  only  way  of  securing  peace  ;  but  dog  teams  will  fight 
one  another  when  they  get  the  opportunity.  Ordinarily  a  dog 
country  is  apart  from  a  reindeer  country  ;  but  if  the  dogs 
get  scent  of  a  deer,  they  will  become  unmanageable.  When 
dogs  begin  to  paw  the  snow  it  is  said  to  be  a  sign  of 
a  coming  storm.  The  team  dogs  of  eastern  Siberia  serve  till 
they  are  10  or  12  years  old,  but  begin  to  deteriorate  after  6  or 
7  years.  They  suffer  frequently  from  rabies  in  the  spring, 
but  sometimes  continue  to  be  harnessed,  though  muzzled, 
when  rabid.  They  also  suffer  from  palsy  and  cramp  :  their 
feet  are  apt  to  become  sore  and  are  often  made  to  bleed. 
Sometimes  then  they  are  put  into  shoes,  but  they  greatly 
resent  this  treatment.  They  can  draw  considerable  weights. 
Haviland  describes  a  pack  in  which  each  sledge  with  eight 
dogs  could  draw  1,440  lb.  of  goods  and  two  men,  and  the 
i  leader  by  himself  could  draw  180  lb.  on  the  sledge.  On  a  good 
surface  they  could  travel  as  much  as  66  miles  in  3  hours. 
The  Russian,  Koryak,  and  Kamchadal  dogs  feed  exclusively 
on  fish,  the  Chukchee  dogs  on  intestines  of  seal  and  the 
blubber  of  seals,  whales,  and  walrus. 

Telegraphs  and  Cables 

The  telegraph  system  has  been  extended  in  Siberia  in  recent 
years,  but  there  is  still  no  close  network  of  wires.  Away  from 
the  railways  and  the  chief  rivers  few  places  are  on  the 
system,  and  the  north  is  almost  devoid  of  telegraphic  facilities. 

The  trunk  system  consists  of  a  line  more  or  less  following 
the  railway  between  west  and  east  and  linking  the  telegraphic 
system  of  European  Russia  with  Vladivostok,  and  via  the 
Chinese  Eastern  Railway  with  Kharbin  (Harbin),  Mukden  and 
the  Chinese  telegraphs.  Most  telegrams  between  Europe  and 
Siberia  pass  either  by  Yekaterinburg  or  by  Chelyabinsk,  but 
the  South  Siberian  Railway,  when  built,  will  afford  a  route 
via  Orenburg.  Russian  Central  Asia  has  its  own  lines  of 
telegraphic  connexion  with  Europe, 


From  this  trunk  line,  which  traverses  the  most  populated 
regions  of  Siberia,  several  branches  run  to  north  and  south, 
but  except  in  western  Siberia  there  are  no  alternative  routes 
to  the  main  line,  within  Russian  territory.  The  Amur 
telegraph  lines  through  the  Amur  and  Ussuri  districts  form 
an  all-Russian  route  alternative  to  the  more  direct  route 
through  Manchuria  along  the  Chinese  Eastern  Railway. 

The  four  chief  lines  to  the  north  more  or  less  follow  the 
four  great  rivers.  From  Omsk  a  line  runs  north  along  the 
Irtish  to  Tara,  across  country  to  Tobolsk  to  avoid  the  swamps 
of  the  lower  Irtish  and  thence  down  the  Ob  to  Kondinskoe 
and  Berezov.  From  Tobolsk  a  branch  leaves  this  Irtish-Ob 
line  and  goes  south-west  to  Tyumen  where  it  joins  the  trunk 
line  along  the  Siberian  Railway.  From  Krasnoyarsk  a  line 
runs  north  to  Kozachinskoe  and  follows  the  Yenisei  to 
Yeniseisk  and  Turukhansk.  On  both  this  and  the  Ob  line 
telegraph  stations  are  widely  separated  in  the  north.  From 
Irkutsk  a  line  runs  north-east  to  the  Lena  at  Manzurskaya 
and  then  follows  the  Lena  to  Yakutsk  with  branches  to 
Bodaibo  and  to  Vilyuisk.  From  Yakutsk  a  line  goes  across 
country,  following  the  rough  track  to  Okhotsk.  This  is  the 
most  northerly  line  in  Siberia. 

In  Kamchatka  there  is  a  line  between  Tigilski  and  Petro- 
pavlovsk,  but  it  is  said  not  to  be  in  working  order.  Lastly  cat 
Chita  the  Amur  line  branches  from  the  old  trunk  line  which 
runs  through  Manchuria  to  Vladivostok  along  the  railway. 
The  Amur  line  leaves  the  railway  at  Stryetensk  and  keeps 
near  the  Shilka  and  the  Amur  to  Khabarovsk  where  it  turns 
south  up  the  Ussuri  to  Vladivostok.  A  branch  line  from 
Khabarovsk  follows  the  Amur  to  Nikolaevsk,  sending  branches 
across  the  northern  end  of  the  Sikhota  Alin  Range  to  de 
Castries  Bay  and  to  Cape  Lazarev,  whence  cables  cross  to 
Sakhalin.  On  Sakhalin  there  is  a  line  from  Cape  Pogobi 
Alexandrovsk  and  Due.  The  Amur  line  continues  eastwai 
from  Nikolaevsk  to  Chnuirrakh  Point  at  the  Amur  mouth. 

The   southern   branches   from   the   west   and   east   triu 
telegraph  line  are  more  numerous.     Most  westerly  in  Sibei 


lis  a  branch  from  Petropavlovsk  to  Atbasar  and  Akmolinsk 
!in  the  steppes.  From  Omsk  a  very  important  line  runs  more 
or  less  along  the  Irtish  to  Semipalatinsk,  whence  it  continues 
southward  to  Sergiopol,  Kopal,  Vyerni,  and  Tashkent  in 
Russian  Central  Asia,  connecting  with  the  lines  to  Krasnovodsk 
on  the  Caspian  Sea  and  to  Orenburg  in  European  Russia. 
This  southern  line  sends  several  branches  towards  Mongolia, 
to  Zaisan,  Chuguchak,  Kuldzha  and  elsewhere.  At  Chuguchak 
(Tahcheng  or  Tarbagatai)  and  Kuldzha  there  is  connexion 
with  the  Chinese  telegraph  system. 

Another  branch  leaves  the  trunk  line  at 
and  goes  by  Barnaul  and  Biisk  to  Kosh-Agach  on  the  Mon- 
|  golian  frontier.  From  there  to  Kobdo,  where  the  Mongolian 
telegraph  system  begins,  telegrams  are  carried  by  Cossack 
post.  In  1913  Russia  was  granted  a  concession  by  Mongolia 
to  extend  the  telegraph  line  to  Kobdo.  A  fourth  important 
branch  leaves  the  trunk  line  at  Achinsk  and  goes  to  Minusinsk 
and  Grigorevski  on  the  frontier.  In  the  Baikal  and  Trans - 
baikal  regions  there  are  several  short  lines  southward  to  places 
on  the  frontier,  including  those  from  Kultuk  to  Tunkinsk, 
Verkhnc-LTdinsk  to  Troitskosavsk  (meeting  the  Chinese  tele- 
graphs at  Kyakhta),  and  Chita  to  Mangut.  Finally  there  are 
(a)  the  coast  line  northward  from  Vladivostok  to  Tyutikha 
Bay,  which  is  being  continued  northward  in  order  eventually 
to  meet  the  Amur  telegraph  line  ;  and  (b)  the  line  southward 
from  Vladivostok  to  Novo-Kievskoe  near  the  frontier  of  Korea. 

Considerable  difficulty  is  experienced  in  erecting  telegraph 
wires  in  many  parts  of  Siberia  on  account  of  the  thick  forests, 
swamps  and  other  obstacles,  but  the  difficulty  of  upkeep  is 
still  greater.  Trees  fall  and  interrupt  communication,  and 
natives  are  continually  stealing  the  wire.  Siberian  telegraphs 
seldom  work  satisfactorily,  and  there  is  generally  delay,  not 
always  unavoidable,  in  the  transmission  of  messages. 

The  only  submarine  cables  touching  Siberia  are  in  the  far 
east.  Two  cables,  belonging  to  the  Great  Northern  Cable 
Company  of  Copenhagen,  connect  Vladivostok  with  Nagasaki 
in  Japan  ;    and  there  are  Russian  cables  from  Lazarev  and 


de  Castries  Bay  across  the  Straits  of  Tartary  to  Cape  Pogobi 
and  to  Alexandrovsk,  respectively,  in  Sakhalin.  A  Japanese 
cable  also  runs  between  Alexandrovsk,  Todo  Shima,  a  Japanese 
island  off  southern  Sakhalin,  and  Hokushu. 

There  are  no  cables  to  Kamchatka  or  across  Bering  Strait 
to  America. 

Arctic  Russia 

In  Arctic  Russia,  except  around  the  White  Sea  and  on  the 
Murman  coast,  the  system  of  telegraph  lines  is  little  better 
developed  than  in  Arctic  Siberia 

Murmansk  and  other  ports  on  the  Murman  coast  are  linked 
with  the  Russian  telegraph  system  both  along  the  route  of  the 
Murman  Railway  and  round  the  coast  of  the  Kola  Peninsula. 
All  White  Sea  ports  and  most  places  on  the  Northern  Dvina 
also  have  telegraphic  connexion,  but  in  the  Pechora  region 
Ust-Tsilma  is  the  only  place  with  a  telegraph  line  with  the 
exception  of  a  few  stations  in  the  extreme  upper  reaches. 
There  is  no  telegraph  line  to  Siberia  north  of  the  railway. 

There  is  no  permanent  through  telegraph  line  to  Finland 
north  of  Lake  Ladoga,  but  a  Russian  military  line  runs 
from  Rovaniemi  to  Pechenga.  The  Russian  and  Norwegian 
systems  meet  on  the  Voriema  River,  but  are  not  connected. 

There  are  submarine  cables  from  Alexandrovsk  to  Peter- 
head, Scotland,  and  from  Alexandrovsk  to  Arkhangel. 

Wireless  Telegraphy 

In  recent  years  several  wireless  stations  have  been  built 
in  the  far  north  and  in  the  north-east,  and  others  are  projected. 

On  the  Murman  coast  there  are  stations  on  the  Ribaehi 
Peninsula,    at    Alexandrovsk,    Murmansk,    Teriberski,    and 
Svyatoi  Nos  ;   on  the  White  Sea  at  Kandalakska,  Kem,  Solo- 
vet  ski,  Arkhangel,  Sosnovets  Island,  Cape  Voronov  and  Kanii 
Nos.     The  nearest  Norwegian  stations  are  at  Ingo,  near  the 
North  Cape,  and  one  at  Green  Harbour,  Spitsbergen,  eacl 
with  a  normal  range  of  480  miles.     To  facilitate  the  navig* 
tion  of  the  Kara  Sea  three  stations  have  been  erected,  01 
Yugor  Strait,  on  Vaigach,  and  at  Capo  Mare-Sale  on  Yama 


respectively,  each  with  a  normal  range  of  150  nautical  miles. 
Others  in  Novaya  Zemlya  and  elsewhere  are  projected  (see 
Vol.  II,  Chap.  V).  A  station  at  Obdorsk  on  the  Ob  delta  is 
contemplated,  and  one  at  Dickson  Island  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Yenisei  (range  1,700  miles)  has  been  in  operation  for  several 

In  the  far  east  there  is  a  station  at  Okhotsk  (range  130 
miles)  which  communicates  with  one  at  Nayakhanskoe  on 
Gizhiga  Bay  (range  130  miles),  one  at  Novo-Mariinsk  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Anadir  (range  130  miles),  and  another  at 
Markovo  farther  up  the  Anadir.  Stations  are  reported  to  be 
under  construction  at  Yamsk  on  the  Sea  of  Okhotsk,  and  at 
Sredne-Kolimsk  on  the  Kolima. 

On  the  Amur  there  are  wireless  stations  at  Khabarovsk 
(military),  at  Nizhne-Tambovskoe  (military)  and  at  Niko- 
laevsk  at  the  mouth  (range  240  miles).  The  Nikolaevsk  station 
communicates  with  one  at  Petropavlovsk  in  Kamchatka 
(range  240  miles).  A  second  station  is  contemplated  in 
Kamchatka  at  Tigilski  on  the  west  coast.  Stations  are  pro- 
posed on  Bering  Island  and  on  one  of  the  Commander  Islands. 
The  station  at  Nikolaevsk  also  communicates  with  one  at 
Kerbinski  on  the  Amgun  (range  170  miles).  On  the  Ussuri 
there  is  a  military  wireless  station  at  Iman. 

At  Vladivostok  there  are  three  wireless  stations,  one 
belonging  to  the  army  and  two  to  the  navy.  Japan  has 
several  stations  within  range  of  Vladivostok.  A  number  of 
the  Russian  vessels  which  ply  in  far  eastern  waters  as  well  as 
the  Russian  ice-breakers  are  fitted  with  wireless  installations. 

There  are  no  Russian  wireless  stations  on  Bering  Strait,  but 
stations  are  proposed  at  Providence  Bay  and  Cape  Dezhneva. 
The  nearest  United  States  stations  of  long  range  are  those 
at  Fort  St.  Michael  and  at  Nome  on  Norton  Sound  in  Alaska, 
both  controlled  by  the  United  States  Army,  and  those  at 
Unalaska  in  the  Aleutian  Islands  and  at  St.  Paul  in  the 
Pribilov  Islands,  both  operated  by  the  United  States  Navy. 
The  station  at  Nome  communicates  with  the  one  at  Novo- 


General  Considerations — The  Siberian  Railway — The  Amur  Railway — 
The  Ussuri  Railway — The  Altai  Railway — Other  Siberian  Railways — The 
Murman  Railway — The  Arkhangel-Vologda  Railway — New  and  Projected 

General  Considerations 
Progress  in  Construction 

The  total  mileage  of  Russian  railways  open  to  traffic 
(47,480  miles  in  1914)  is  large  in  comparison  with  that  of 
other  countries,  but  small  in  proportion  to  the  area  of  the 
Empire.  Of  this  total  about  8,000  miles  are  in  Siberia. 
Railway  construction  in  the  Russian  Empire  was  proceeding, 
before  the  war,  according  to  a  definite  plan.  For  the  years 
1914-19,  a  programme  was  drawn  up  for  constructing  about 
2,330  miles  of  line  each  year,  but  the  Commission  under 
General  Petrov  had  been  of  opinion  that  something  more  like 
4,000  miles  each  year  were  necessary  for  the  needs  of  the 

The  Russians  build  railways  very  quickly,  so  that  they 
have  been  able  after  the  outbreak  of  a  war  to  make  radical 
and  timely  improvements  in  their  .system  of  communica- 
tions. In  the  course  of  the  war  with  Japan  they  were  able 
to  finish  the  Circumbaikal  section  of  the  Siberian  Railway 
in  January  1905,  a  work  of  immense  difficulty,  as  the  section 
contains  40  tunnels.  Meanwhile  a  line  had  been  laid  across 
the  ice  on  Lake  Baikal,  from  Baikal  to  Tankhoi,  a  distance 
of  25  miles.  The  work  was  accomplished  between  February  9 
and  March  1,  1904,  at  a  laying  rate  of  about  1|  mile  a 
day.  From  the  outbreak  of  war  in  1914  to  the  spring  of 
191(3  a  thousand  miles  of  the  Murman  Railway  were  built,  and 


large  sections  necessary  to  complete  the  Amur  Railway  were 

Military  Importance 
In  the  Russian  Empire  railways  are  particularly  important 
|  from  a  military  point  of  view,  owing  to  the  vast  distances 
between  place  and  place,  and  owing  to  the  state  of  the  roads. 
Considerable  advance  in  road-making  took  place  in  the  first 
thirty  years  of  the  nineteenth  century,  but  with  the  advent 
of  railways,  less  attention  has  been  paid  to  roads.  There  are 
very  few  roads  in  the  Russian  Empire  which  can  support 
artillery,  or  which  could  allow  a  railway-line  to  be  laid  along 
their  surface.  The  rivers,  though  suitable  for  transport, 
suffer  from  many  disadvantages ;  the  Volga,  for  instance, 
runs  into  the  Caspian,  which  is  a  closed  sea  ;  the  great 
Siberian  rivers  are  all  frozen  in  winter.  Nevertheless,  the 
rivers  and  canals  of  Russia  have  great  possibilities  in  the 
development  of  military  transport. 


The  prominent  characteristics  of  Russian  railways  are, 
first,  that  they  are  cheap  to  build,  costing  about  £10,500  per 
mile  in  Europe,  a  little  over  £5,000  per  mile  in  Asia.  This 
cheapness  is  partly  due  to  the  general  flatness  of  the  country, 
and  the  straightness  with  which  the  line  is  traced.  A  second 
characteristic  is  that  tunnels  are  few ;  they  are  avoided, 
for  instance  through  most  of  the  course  of  the  hilly  Amur 
Railway,  by  steep  gradients  and  sharp  curves.  A  third 
characteristic  has  been  already  mentioned,  the  straight 
tracing  of  the  line,  so  that  towns  are  left  on  either  side. 
The  straightness  of  the  track  makes  the  measurement  of 
distances  off  a  map  more  approximately  accurate  than  might 
otherwise  be  expected.  Fourthly,  most  of  the  lines  are  single, 
but  with  embankment  or  bed  provided  for  a  double  track. 


The  standard  Russian  gauge  is  1*524  metre  (5  feet)  ;  there 
is  a  large  number  of    small   branch    and  feeding  lines   (in 


European  Russia)  which  have  a  narrow  gauge,  varying  from ! 
1-006  metre  to  0-75  metre  (3  ft.  3i  in.  to  2  ft.  5J  in.).  The  wide 
gauge  admits  of  heavy  loading  of  trucks,  but  this  advantage 
cannot  be  much  used  as  the  rails  are  not  sufficiently  heavy, 
lior  the  road-bed  good  enough,  to  take  very  heavy  trains. 
But  great  improvements  have  been  effected  in  recent  years, 
especially  on  the  Siberian  Railway. 

The  lessons  of  the  Franco-Prussian  War  gave  a  great 
impetus  to  strategical  railway  building  in  Russia.  The 
broad  gauge  was  adopted,  it  is  said  on  the  advice  of  an 
American  engineer,  Major  Whistler,  to  prevent  the  German 
and  Austrian  rolling-stock  in  time  of  war  being  put  on  to  the 
Russian  lines.  The  German  and  Austrian  gauge  is  4  ft.  8|  in. 
The  Japanese  gauge  is  3  ft.  6  in.,  but  4  ft.  8|  in.  was  adopted 
as  the  standard  in  1916.  In  the  Russo-Japanese  war,  after 
the  battle  of  Mukden,  the  Japanese  narrowed  the  gauge  on 
the  Southern  Manchurian  Railway,  but  it  took  them  39  days 
to  do  it  for  34  miles.  It  has  since  been  widened,  sec  p.  342. 
The  Germans,  however,  claim  to  have  means  for  dealing 
rapidly  with  the  task  of  converting  the  Russian  gauge.  Owing 
to  the  width  of  the  embankment  it  is  obviously  easier  to  con- 
vert a  broad  gauge  to  a  narrow  one,  than  vice  versa. 

Permanent  Way 

In  Russia  in  Europe,  the  sleepers  are  said  to  be  sunk  in  the 
permanent  way,  so  that  the  track  can  be  used  for  marching. 
The  surface  of  the  bridges,  which  is  open,  would  have  to  be 
covered,  if  the  tracks  were  to  be  utilized  for  this  purpose. 
This  practice  of  sinking  the  sleepers  seems  to  have  been  fol- 
lowed in  a  large  number,  if  not  in  all  the  sections  of  the 
Siberian  Railway.  The  railway  tracks  in  Russia  are  often  the 
only  unflooded  roads  to  be  found  in  a  large  district. 


The  amount  of  rolling-stock  is  not  so  great  as  in  Germany 
or  Austria,  and  owing  to  the  great  distances  it  is  difficult  to 
collect  much  together  for  a  particular  purpose  at  any  one 


(place.  In  1911  there  were  21,121  locomotives,  burning 
either  coal,  oil,  or  wood  ;  24,487  passenger  coaches  ;  469,063 
goods  wagons.  But  all  these  were  said  to  be  rather  old. 
It  is  difficult  to  add  new  rolling-stock  rapidly  from  Russian 
work-shops  ;  construction  is  retarded  by  the  necessity  of 
building  different  types  of  engines,  some  to  use  coal,  others 
wood,  others  oil.  In  1910  the  Russian  locomotives  were 
stated  to  be  30  per  cent,  less  powerful  than  those  of  Germany. 
The  average  speed  is  13  miles  per  hour,  on  fast  trains,  33  miles. 
The  want  of  sufficient  rolling-stock  was  still  noticeable  in 
1916.  But  locomotives  and  cars  were  imported  in  parts  from 
the  United  States  to  Vladivostok,  and  were  erected  in  shops 
f  created  during  the  war  at  Pervaya-Ryeka,  on  the  main  line 
five  miles  outside  the  city.  In  spite  of  the  marshy,  low-lying 
nature  of  the  country,  which  necessitated  much  filling-in, 
a  large  system  of  sidings  and  workshops  was  completed  by 
the  beginning  of  1916.  At  first  only  5  or  6  cars  were  erected 
each  day,  but  the  output  was  expected  within  a  short  time 
to  reach  100  to  150  a  day. 

Loading  Capacity 
The  broad  gauge  admits  wagons  with  a  large  carrying 
capacity.  Ordinarily  a  wagon  can  take  32  to  40  men,  or 
6  to  8  "horses.  Most  cars  for  carrying  men  are  heated  with 
a  stove.  A  military  train  has  from  30  to  50  wagons,  35  to  40 
being  the  commonest  number.  In  its  composition,  a  field- 
kitchen  is  also  frequently  included.  The  American  cars 
purchased  in  1915-16  were  of  the  bogie  type,  42  ft.  long, 
and  could  carry  2,400  poods,  i.  e.  nearly  39  tons.  14,000  of 
these  cars  were  under  order  from  America  at  the  beginning 
of  1916,  along  with  450  American  locomotives.  As  well  as 
the  newly  constructed  shops  at  Pervaya  Ryeka,  the  machine- 
shops  of  the  Chinese  Eastern  Railway  at  Kharbin  were  much 
used,  being  able  to  erect  4  or  5  locomotives  per  diem. 

Most  of  the  Russian  stations  are  some  distance,  varying 
from  I  mile  to  10  miles,  from  the  town  or  village  after  which 


they  are  named.  On  the  Chinese  Eastern  Railway  the 
distances  are  sometimes  even  greater.  The  stations  are 
divided  into  classes  from  I  to  V.  Class  I  is  designed  for 
changing  locomotives  and  personnel  of  passenger  trains ; 
Class  II  for  dealing  in  a  similar  way  with  goods  trains. 
Class  III  is  designed  for  maintaining  locomotives  and  personnel 
for  local  work.  Class  IV  is  designed  for  occupation  by 
traffic  staff  only.  Class  V  exists  for  the  same  objects  as 
Class  IV,  but  on  a  smaller  scale.  On  the  Siberian  line  at  any 
rate  the  objects  of  the  classes  have  been  to  a  certain  extent 
confused  ;  thus  Classes  I— III  have  all  engine  depots,  and 
have  been  classified  only  according  to  size.  All  Classes  IV 
and  V  have  arrangements  for  watering  locomotives,  as  well 
as  living  accommodation  for  traffic  staff.  A  '  crossing  '  is 
a  point  on  the  line,  with  (on  the  Siberian  line)  two  loops  in 
addition  to  the  through  track,  and  with  sidings.  There  is 
a  pointsman  and  accommodation  for  him  at  each  crossing. 
When  a  line  is  doubled,  the  crossings  may  be  eliminated. 
The  stations  of  Russian  railways  generally  have  low  broad 
platforms,  in  addition,  being  generally  some  way  distant 
from  their  town  or  village,  many  stations  have  wide  open 
spaces  near  by,  very  suitable  for  parading  troops  prior  to 
entraining  or  on  detrainment.  On  the  Siberian  Railway, 
the  stations  of  Kharbin,  Irkutsk,  and  Baikal  have  not  these 
open  spaces.  For  off-loading  trains,  ramps  have  to  be  used. 
Lifting  appliances,  cranes,  &c.,  are  not  commonly  used  or 
provided.  Most  of  the  larger  stations,  even  down  to  Class  IV, 
have  good  buildings,  many*  of  stone,  which  are  constructed 
on  a  generous  scale. 

Military  Personnel  and  Control 

The  military  personnel  dealing  with  railways  consists  of 
17  battalions,  comprising  77  companies.  There  is  a  field- 
railway  park  with  100  kilometres  (62  miles)  of  line,  and  then 
are  field-railway  depots.  The  lines  are  divided  into  districts, 
allotted  to  the  transport  line-commandants  and  station- 
commandants.     In  war,  all  the  lines,  at  least  in  the  theatre 


of  operations,  go  under  military  control.  A  railway-battalion 
consists  of  two  companies  of  constructors,  two  of  '  exploita- 
tion '  employes,  and  two  companies  of  reserve.  There  are 
three  railway-battalions  in  the  engineers  of  the  reserve. 

Government  and  Private  Enterprise 

About  69  per  cent,  of  Russian  railways  are  State-owned. 
All  the  Siberian  Railway  to  the  station  of  Manchuria,  was 
built  and  is  worked  by  the  Government ;  this  is  true  also 
of  the  Amur  Railway,  which  runs  entirely  through  Russian 
territory.  Several  new  branch  lines,  the  Slavgorod  Railway, 
the  Altai  Railway,  and  the  Minusinsk  Railway  are  built  and 
worked  by  private  enterprise.  The  Chinese  Eastern  Railway 
is  under  a  private  company,  rather  closely  related  to  the 
Government.  The  private  lines  are  said  to  be  better  con- 
structed than  the  lines  built  by  the  State. 

Civil  Control 

Three  official  bodies  deal  with  the  railways  :  (1)  the  Ministry 
of  Ways  and  Communications,  which  deals  with  the  technical 
and  administrative  mechanism  of  the  railways,  including 
construction  ;  (2)  the  Ministry  of  Finance,  which  deals  with 
the  raising  of  capital,  with  tariffs,  and  kindred  matters  ; 
(3)  the  Control  of  the  Empire,  which  inspects  receipts  and 
expenses,  and  makes  up  the  complicated  accounts  between 
them.     These  bodies  regulate  private  as  well  as  State  lines. 

Defects  in  Management 

Circumstances  have  prejudiced  the  successful  working  of 
the  Siberian  Railway  system.  The  line  is  made  up  of  separate 
railroads,  each  having  its  own  independent  administration 
and  its  head-quarters  in  Petrograd.  The  control  over  these 
railroads  has  not  been  properly  co-ordinated  ;  overlapping  is 
constantly  occurring  ;  the  different  managements  have  never 
tried  to  work  with  one  another  for  the  improvement  of  the 
whole  system,  but  have  merely  looked  after  their  own  sections. 
The  initiative  of  local  officials  has  been  hampered  by  circular 

Y  2 


instructions  sent  out  by  the  Ministry  of  Ways  and  Communica- 
tions. The  system  for  watering  engines  is  cumbrous  and 
involves  long  delays. 

The  Siberian  Railway 
The  idea  of  the  great  Siberian  Railway  is  said  to  have  been 
originated  by  Count  Muraviev-Amurski,  who  became  Governor 
of  Eastern  Siberia  in  1848.  He  founded  Nikolaevsk  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Amur  in  1850.  His  idea  was  to  connect  the 
Maritime  Province  with  Russia  ;  when  the  construction  of 
the  Siberian  Railway  was  actually  taken  hi  hand  in  1891, 
it  was  intended  to  carry  out  Muraviev's  idea  by  building  the 
line  all  the  way  through  Russian  territory,  avoiding  Manchuria. 
The  earliest  definite  proposal  was  that  of  an  English  engineer 
called  Dall,  who  put  forward  a  plan  for  a  horse-railway, 
to  be  laid  from  Nizhne -Novgorod  by  way  of  Kazan  and  Perm, 
to  a  Siberian  port  on  the  Pacific.  After  1870  the  railways  of 
Russia  took  a  steadity  eastward  trend.  In  1877  the  line  to 
Orenburg  was  opened,  and  in  1878  the  Ural  Railway,  ending 
at  Tyumen.  By  the  year  1890,  there  were  three  lines  which 
had  claims  to  be  used  for  the  great  extension  on  to  Vladi- 
vostok :  one  was  the  Ural  Railway,  a  very  important  one  on 
account  of  the  mines  and  iron-works  adjacent  to  it.  The 
second  was  the  Samara-Zlatoust  Railway  ending  at  Miyas. 
The  third  was  the  Samara-Orenburg  line.  The  Samara- 
Zlatoust  line  was  chosen  as  it  offered  the  shortest  route 
through  Nizhne-Udinsk,  and  as  it  ran  through  the  fertile 
black-earth  region  of  western  Siberia.  The  building  of  the 
line  was  begun  in  1891,  in  different  sections,  and  completed 
during  the  Russo-Japanese  War,  in  1905.  Only  Russian 
labour  and  Russian  material  were  used,  except  perhaps  on 
the  Circumbaikal  section  which  was  finished  in  a  hurry 
during  the  Russo-Japanese  War.  At  various  points  along 
the  route,  steamer-wharves  were  made  on  the  rivers,  saw- 
mills and  foundries  were  opened,  and  these  still  exist  and 
offer  means  for  railway-construction. 


Chinese  Eastern  Railway 
The  original  intention  was  that  the  Siberian  Railway  should 
run  from  Samara  to  Vladivostok  by  way  of  Stryetensk  and 
Khabarovsk.  But  as  the  route  from  Stryetensk  to  Kha- 
barovsk (now  called  the  Amur  Railway)  offered  technical 
difficulties,  an  alternative  route  was  adopted,  through  Man- 
churia, which  was  Chinese  territory.  In  1896  an  agreement 
was  signed  between  the  Chinese  Government  and  the  Russo- 
Chinese  Bank,  for  the  formation  of  the  Company  of  the 
Chinese  Eastern  Railway.  This  railway  was  to  be  built  to 
connect  the  Transbaikal  Railway  with  the  South  Ussuri 
Railway.  The  Company  was  given  the  power  to  work  coal 
pits  and  to  engage  in  other  industries  '  in  China  '.  The  share- 
holders can  only  be  Russian  or  Chinese  subjects.  The 
Russian  Government  undertook  certain  financial  guarantees 
with  regard  to  the  '  obligations  '  of  the  Chinese  Eastern 
Railway,  but  not  with  regard  to  its  share-capital.  The 
Company  was  to  be  under  a  Directorate,  which  was  to  sit  in 
Peking  and  Petrograd.  There  were  to  be  a  chairman  and 
nine  directors,  the  chairman  being  named  by  the  Chinese 
Government,  the  directors  to  be  chosen  by  the  shareholders. 
The  line  is  to  be  leased  to  the  Chinese  Eastern  Railway 
Company  for  80  years,  and  at  the  end  of  this  period  is  to 
pass,  without  any  payment,  into  the  possession  of  the  Chinese 
Government.  The  luggage  of  passengers,  and  all  goods,  in 
passage  from  one  Russian  station  to  another  over  the  Chinese 
Eastern  Railway,  are  free  from  Chinese  customs.  In  the 
tracing  of  the  line,  villages,  towns,  and  cemeteries  were  to  be 
left  aside.  The  gauge  of  the  Chinese  Eastern  Railway  was 
to  be  the  same  as  the  Russian  (5  ft.).  After  the  Russian 
Government  obtained  a  lease  of  the  Laio-tung  Peninsula  in 
1898,  the  Chinese  Eastern  Railway  was  extended  from 
Kharbin  to  Dairen  and  Port  Arthur  (614  miles).  By  the 
Treaty  of  Portsmouth,  August  1905,  Japan  took  over  the 
southern  section  of  this  line,  from  Port  Arthur  to  Kuan- 
cheng-tsu  (467  miles).  From  Kharbin  to  Kuan-cheng-tsu 
it  remains  under  the  Chinese  Eastern  Railway  Company.   The 


line  from  Kuan-cheng-tsu  to  Port  Arthur  is  now  called  the 
South  Manchurian  Railway,  and  since  it  was  taken  over  by 
the  Japanese  has  been  converted  from  a  3  ft.  6  in.  to  a  4  ft.  8|  in. 
gauge.  In  practice  the  goods  are  transferred  at  Changchun, 
1  mile  south  of  Kuan-cheng-tsu.  The  Chinese  Eastern 
Railway  is  really  under  the  Russian  Ministry  of  Finance, 
which  controls  it  through  the  Russo-Chinese  Bank. 

Amur  Railway 

The  disadvantage  of  the  Manchurian  route,  from  the 
Transbaikal  Railway  to  Vladivostok,  is  that  as  far  as  Pogran- 
ichnaya,  144  miles  from  Vladivostok,  it  does  not  run  through 
Russian  territory.  It  is  for  this  reason  that  the  Amur 
Railway,  connecting  the  Transbaikal  line  with  Khabarovsk, 
and  so  by  the  existing  north  Ussuri  Railway,  with  Vladivostok, 
is  so  important.  It  runs  all  the  way  through  Russian  territory, 
has  embankment  for  a  double  track,  and  will  probably  in  time 
become  the  main  artery  of  communication  with  the  old 
Siberian  Railway.  It  runs  some  way  north  of  the  river 
Amur,  instead  of  along  its  valley,  so  as  not  to  be  too  near 
the  frontier  in  case  of  war  (see  p.  347). 


The  Siberian  Railway  was  rather  hurriedly  and  cheaply 
built.  The  ballast  was  thin,  and  the  rails  were  only  54  lb. 
to  the  yard.  They  were  afterwards  replaced  by  72  lb.  rails. 
A  report  of  October  1915  states  that  the  line  has  been  relaid 
with  a  still  heavier  rail,  apparently  80  lb.  per  yard.  The 
wooden  bridges  are  also  said  to  have  been  replaced  by  bridges 
of  steel  and  masonry.  While  the  Siberian  and  Transbaikal 
Railways  were  only  single-track,  the  number  of  trains  that 
could  pass  each  way  in  a  day  was  10£  (21  in  all  on  the  line)  on 
the  Siberian  Railway,  7 J  on  the  Transbaikal.  During  the 
Russo-Japanese  War  the  Transbaikal  Railway  is  said  to  have 
been  worked  to  take  12  trains  a  day  each  way, 


Effect  of  Double-tracking 
The  doubling  of  the  track  between  Omsk  and  Karimskaya 
(with  the  exception  of  the  part  round  Lake  Baikal)  and  the 
strengthening  of  the  line  in  the  mountain  sections  permit 
34  trains  now  to  proceed  in  either  direction.  The  through 
lines  at  the  stations  can  take  60  trucks.  The  bridges  were 
built  for  a  single  line,  and  many  of  them  have  yet  to  be 
adapted  for  a  double  line,  even  in  the  part  where  the  line  is 
already  doubled. 

General  Description 

The  name  Siberian  was  originally  applied  to  the  railway 
from  Samara  to  Irkutsk.  From  Irkutsk  to  Manchuria  was 
known  as  the  Transbaikal  Railway,  in  the  days  when  Lake 
Baikal  formed  a  huge  gap  in  the  line,  traversed  by  a  train- 
ferry  from  Baikal  Station  to  Misovaya.  To  this  was  added 
the  Circumbaikal  Railway,  completed  during  the  Russo- 
Japanese  War  in  1005.  On  the  Siberian  Railway  the  old  line 
from  Yekaterinburg  joins  the  Moscow-Samara  line. 

Chelyabinsk  to  Ob. — From  Chelyabinsk  to  the  River  Ob,  the 
line  passes  through  a  fertile,  black-earth  country,  very  good  for 
agriculture,  especially  in  the  Ishim  and  the  Baraba  steppes. 
The  only  difficulties  are  the  Rivers  Tobol,  Ishim,  Irtish,  and 
Ob.  The  country  is  studded  with  clumps  of  dwarf  elms  and 
willows,  which  are  only  good  for  firewood.  The  population 
is  agricultural  and  pastoral.  As  far  as  Chulim  (802  miles  from 
Chelyabinsk)  the  greatest  grade  is  1  in  165,  the  curves  1,750  ft.  ; 
from  Chulim  to  Ob  the  grade  is  1  in  135,  the  curves  1,750  ft. 

Ob  to  Irkutsk. — From  the  Ob  to  Irkutsk,  the  line  goes 
through  hilly  country,  with  some  large  rivers,  the  Tom,  Yaya, 
Riya,  Chulim,  Yenisei.  There  are  a  number  of  smaller  rivers 
to  be  crossed,  and,  as  the  valleys  are  fairly  close  together,  the 
maximum  grade  is  frequently  reached.  The  country  is  thickly 
wooded,  and  there  are  very  few  clearings.  After  Achinsk  the 
country  becomes  mountainous.  At  the  higher  elevations  the 
forests  consist  of  giant  conifers.  Forests  are  traversed  for 
200  miles  in  long  stretches  of  25  to  45  miles  without  a  break, 


The  population  consists  mainly  of  settlers  along  the  postal 
road  from  Tomsk  to  Irkutsk.  A  great  deal  of  earthwork 
had  to  be  used  in  the  construction  of  this  part  of  the  railway, 
and  in  many  places  the  embankment  reaches  19  or  20  ft.  in 
height.  From  Ob  to  Achinsk  the  grades  are  1  in  111  and  1  in 
125,  the  minimum  curve  1,750  ft.  From  Achinsk  to  Kansk, 
the  grade  is  1  in  66-6,  minimum  curve  1,050  ft.  ;  from  Kansk 
to  Nizhne-Udinsk,  1  in  57,  and  1,050  ft.  ;  from  Nizhne-Udinsk 
to  Zima,  1  in  91,  and  1,050  ft.  ;  from  Zima  to  Polovinnaya, 
1  in  57,  and  1,050  ft.  ;  from  Polovinnaya  to  Irkutsk,  1  in  111, 
and  1,050  ft.  Since  these  figures  were  obtained  in  1908,  the 
track  has  been  doubled  from  Omsk  to  Karimskaya,  and  oppor- 
tunity was  probably  taken  to  ease  the  grades  and  to  widen  the 
curves  in  many  places.  Indeed,  the  Transbaikal  sections, 
which  in  1907  were  stated  to  be  the  weakest  links  of  the  rail- 
way, are  now,  since  the  doubling  of  most  of  the  track,  spoken 
of  as  the  best  portion  of  the  whole  line.  From  Mariinsk  to 
Irkutsk,  the  railway  follows  the  Great  Siberian  Post  Road 
more  or  less  closely.  Only  between  Krasnoj^arsk  and  Kansk 
is  it  distant  between  18  and  19  miles,  owing  to  topographical 

Transbaikal. — The  Transbaikal  Railway  presented  great 
difficulties  in  construction.  After  leaving  Irkutsk  the  line 
follows  the  left  bank  of  the  Angara  to  the  shore  of  Lake 
Baikal.  In  this  section  retaining  walls  were  necessary  to 
protect  the  toe  of  the  embankments  from  the  action  of  the 
river,  which  has  a  speed  of  7  ft.  per  second.  The  Circumbaikal 
section  starts  from  Baikal  station,  and  for  52|  miles,  to 
Kultuk,  follows  the  sinuous  and  rocky  southern  shore  of  the 
lake.  The  banks  of  the  lake  are  900  to  1,300  ft.  above  the 
water-level.  It  is  in  this  section  that  tunnels  are  first  found 
on  the  Siberian  Railway.  Between  Baikal  and  Kultuk  there 
are  40  tunnels,  with  a  total  length  of  nearly  4|  miles.  Between 
Kultuk  and  Misovaya  the  line  has  to  take  the  slopes  of  the 
Shamanski  Spur  (at  96|  miles  from  Irkutsk),  the  slopes  of  the 
Khamar-Dabansk  (at  100^  miles)  ;  at  101  f  miles  it  penetrates 
the  spur  of  the  Kerkidal.     From  115  miles  to  125J  the  line 


eaves  the  lake.  From  173  miles  it  follows  a  plain  until 
ape  Malinovskaya  is  reached  at  176 \  miles.  The  country  is 
ilmost  uninhabited,  and  the  soil  nearly  always  frozen. 
Besides  the  tunnels,  there  are  many  cuttings  in  the  hard  rock  ; 
the  deepest  cutting  is  said  to  be  74  ft.  On  the  Circum- 
baikal  portion  of  the  line  the  grade  is  1  in  125,  with  minimum 
curve  of  1,050  ft. 

After  Misovaya  the  line  loses  its  mountainous  character, 
till  it  ascends  the  Tsagan-Da  Range  at  372  miles  from  Irkutsk. 
The  valley  of  the  River  Khilok  is  well  cultivated.  At  609 
miles  the  line  takes  the  summit  of  the  Yablonoi  Range, 
at  about  3,137  ft.  above  sea-level.  In  descending  the  line 
falls  1  in  57,  with  curves  of  1,050  ft.,  for  a  distance  of  8  miles. 
The  valley  of  the  Ingoda  presented  great  difficulties,  as  it  is 
winding  and  the  mountains  are  steep  and  come  so  close  as  to 
leave  only  a  small  strip  free,  which  is  often  overflowed. 
The  line  follows  the  left  bank  of  the  Ingoda,  and  it  is  only 
in  a  few  places  that  the  embankment  can  be  said  to  have 
sufficient  room.  The  upper  Shilka  valley  is  just  as  bad, 
with  rocky  slopes  to  be  crossed,  some  as  much  as  6  miles 

Along  the  Transbaikal  line  there  is  plenty  of  stone  and 
timber  (Siberian  larches,  pine,  fir).  The  grades  and  curves 
are  as  follows  :  from  Irkutsk  to  Baikal,  1  in  1,075  on  curves 
of  1,260  ft.,  and  1  in  143  on  curves  of  1,050  ft.  ;  from  Misovaya 
to  Karimskaya,  1  in  107-5  on  straights,  1  in  143  on  curves  of 
1,050  ft.,  with  the  following  exceptions  :  at  about  372  miles 
from  Irkutsk,  and  again  at  about  609  miles,  the  grade  is  1  in  57 
on  straights,  and  1  in  66  on  1,050  ft.  curves  ;  at  Karimskaj^a 
for  13^  miles  the  grades  are  1  in  66.  From  Karimskaya  to 
Manchuria  the  grade  is  1  in  106  on  straights,  1  in  143  on 
minimum  curves  of  1,050  ft.,  except  that  for  19|  miles  near 
Buryatskaya  (743  miles  from  Irkutsk)  and  6}  miles  near 
Borzya  (at  864^  miles)  there  are  grades  of  1  in  57  on  straights 
and  1  in  66  on  minimum  curves  of  840  ft. 

The  watering  of  trains  is  difficult  on  the  Transbaikal  Rail- 
way.    The  ground  is  permanently  frozen  ;    even  in  summer. 


although  the  soil  is  thawed  for  3  to  10  ft.,  the  ground  beneath 
remains  frozen  to  a  depth  of  120  ft.  Water-pipes  therefore! 
cannot  be  buried  below  frost-level,  in  order  to  prevent  them 
from  freezing.  On  the  Transbaikal  Railway  the  suction  and 
delivery  pipes  were  placed  in  galleries,  warmed  by  steam  or 
hot  water  or  hot  air.  Steam  is  only  used  for  warming  short 
lengths  of  suction-pipe.  The  delivery  pipes,  for  distances 
up  to  800  ft.,  are  warmed  by  warm  water  in  circulating  pipes  ; 
for  lengths  of  more  than  800  ft.,  air  calorifers  are  used,  about 
800  ft.  apart,  with  ventilating  pipes  specially  heated,  to  cause 
the  air  to  circulate.  These  galleries  are  usually  built  below 
the  ground  level,  or  if  built  "above  the  ground,  are  banked  in. 
In  winter,  the  rivers  are  frozen  solid,  except  the  Selenga, 
Uda,  Chita,  Argun,  and  Onon.  Across  the  River  Khilok,  at 
484  miles  from  Irkutsk,  a  dam  has  been  built  ;  the  sluices  are 
closed  at  the  commencement  of  the  frost,  and  thus  a  large 
pond  of  solid  ice  is  formed.  The  ice  is  then  cut  away  in  blocks, 
and  thawed  by  steam  in  a  tank.  Water  is  obtained  in  this 
\\Tay  from  December  to  the  middle  of  March. 

Manchurian  Sections. — After  crossing  the  Manchurian  border 
near  Manchuria  station,  the  line  runs  through  a  flat  steppe 
district,  as  far  as  the  Great  Khingan  Mountains,  the  slopes  of 
which  it  takes  near  Myandukhe  at  1,1 33 J  miles  from  Irkutsk 
(189  miles  from  Manchuria).  The  slopes  of  the  Great  Khingan 
are  richly  wooded.  The  summit  of  the  pass  is  penetrated  by 
a  tunnel  at  1,176  miles,  at  a  height  of  3,355  ft.  above  sea-level. 
The  tunnel,  which  is  3,383  J  yds.  long,  is  cut  through  sandstone; 
not  bricked,  and  is  very  wet.  There  is  an  old  deviation,  used 
when  the  tunnel  was  being  built,  12£  miles  long,  with  steep 
gradients.  After  Barim,  at  1,229  miles  from  Irkutsk,  the 
steppe  country  begins  again  and  is  more  fertile  than  the 
country  to  the  west  of  the  mountains.  From  Tsitsihar  to 
Kharbin,  the  line  passes  over  a  plateau  without  trees  and 
almost  without  inhabitants.  After  Kharbin,  which  is  in  a 
marshy  district,  the  line  goes  through  mountainous  country 
all  the  way  to  Vladivostok.  There  are  three  tunnels  about 
1,761  miles  from  Irkutsk.     At  Pogranichnaya  is  the  terminus 


of  the  Chinese  Eastern  Railway.  Between  this  station  and 
Grodekovo  on  the  Ussuri  Railway  there  are  six  tunnels. 
Before  reaching  Vladivostok  there  is  a  deep  cutting.  Be- 
tween the  stations  of  Kiparisov,  36  miles  from  Vladivostok, 
and  Nadezhdinskaya,  28  miles,  the  permanent  way  is  to  be 
changed  and  a  tunnel  2,450  ft.  cut.  From  Nikolsk-Ussuriski 
to  Vladivostok  the  line  is  double.  The  grades  on  the  Chinese 
Eastern  Railway  are  in  the  hill  sections  1  in  57  on  straights 
and  1  in  66  on  curves.  The  curves  are  1,400  ft.,  with  a  few  of 
840.  On  the  plain,  the  maximum  grade  is  1  in  125,  compen- 
sated to  1  in  165  on  curves  2,100  ft.  By  the  treaty  of  Ports- 
mouth (1905)  this  line  may  not  be  used  for  military  purposes. 
In  1939  China  has  the  right  of  buying  it. 

It  was  reported  in  1901  that  Russians  had  begun  the 
construction  of  a  secret  standard  gauge  railway  from  the 
Chinese  Eastern  Railway,  about  70  miles  west  of  Khailar, 
southward  through  Manchuria.  The  railway  was  said  to  have 
been  built  for  about  300  miles  by  1902.  This  statement  was 
proved  to  be  untrue.  The  report  possibly  originated  in  a  line 
to  some  quarry  laid  during  the  construction  of  the  Chinese 
Eastern  Railway. 

The  Amur  Railway 
The  Amur  Railway  consists  of  a  portion  of  the  old  Karim- 
skaya-Stryetensk  line,  as  far  as  Kuenga,  to  which  point  it 
follows,  first  the  Ingoda  valley,  and  then  the  Shilka,  which 
is  formed  by  the  confluence  of  the  rivers  Ingoda  and  Onon, 
near  the  station  of  Onon.  The  Shilka,  like  the  Ingoda, 
is  winding,  with  steep  banks.  The  line  follows  its  left  bank 
along  a  ledge  hewn  out  of  the  rock.  At  Kuenga  the  line 
branches  north  up  the  right  bank  of  the  River  Kuenga  (which 
it  crosses  near  Ukurei),  and  then  north-east.  It  goes  through 
a  hilly  and  wooded  country,  little  peopled,  more  or  less  parallel 
to  the  Shilka  valley  at  distances  from  it  varying  from  16  to  80 
miles  as  the  crow  flies  and  out  of  artillery  range  from  the 
Chinese  side  of  the  Amur.  There  is  a  bad  road  along  the 
north  bank  of  the  Shilka,  and  a  road  is  being  made  along  the 


railway.  The  embankments  and  bridge  supports  are  built  for 
two  tracks  although  the  present  line  is  single.  It  is  said  to  be! 
capable  of  taking  nine  trains  a  day  each  way  with  ease,  to  have 
few  tunnels,  and  that  normally  the  maximum  grade  provided' 
for  is  1  in  100  with  minimum  curves  of  1,050  ft.  On  the  spurs 
of  the  Great  Khingan  and  Lagar-Aul  the  grade  is  1  in  71  with 
curves  of  820  ft.  The  head-quarters  of  the  Amur  Railway 
are  at  Aleksyeevsk  on  the  River  Zeya.  All  the  artificial  work 
in  connexion  with  the  line  is  to  be  of  a  permanent  nature  ; 
the  weight  of  the  rails  is  22  lb.  per  running  foot.  The  perma- 
nent way  is  badly  laid,  and  floods  have  done  the  line  great 
damage,  so  that  by  the  middle  of  1917  it  was  being  used 
comparatively  little. 

The  Amur  Railway  is  a  reversion  to  the  original  course 
projected  for  the  railway  to  the  Pacific,  and  it  has  been 
necessary  to  return  to  the  adoption  of  this  course  now  that  the 
Manchurian  Railway  is  no  longer  under  Russian  control  since 
the  war  with  Japan.  The  construction  of  the  first  section 
(Kuenga  to  Uryum,  122  miles)  was  begun  in  1908,  and  con- 
tinued through  the  next  two  years,  traffic  being  partially 
started  in  the  winter  of  1910.  In  1912  two  passenger  trains 
ran  in  this  section  every  24  hours.  The  next  section  from 
Uryum  to  Kerak  (398  miles)  was  commenced  in  1910,  the 
third  section  from  Kerak  to  the  River  Diya  near  the  Bureya 
(435  miles)  in  the  spring  of  1911,  the  last  section  to  Kha- 
barovsk (302  miles)  in  the  spring  of  1912.  The  central  portion 
was  completed  in  1914,  and  the  whole,  including  the  great 
bridge  over  the  Amur,  the  longest  in  Russia,  in  1916.  The 
work  was  to  be  done  exclusively  by  white  labour  with  no  help 
from  the  yellow  races.  The  workmen  were  to  be  mainly 
reservists  who  it  was  hoped  would,  on  the  completion  of  the 
line,  form  military  colonies  in  the  Amur  and  Primorsk  terri- 
tories. The  difficulties  in  construction  were  greater  than 
in  any  portion  of  the  Siberian  Railway.  The  line  ran  through 
an  almost  uninhabited  district,  to  which  roads  had  to  be 
made,  and  the  difficulties  of  water  supply  were  enormous, 
because  the  rivers  froze  in  winter,  and  such  supply  as  there 


was  could  only  be  procured  by  excavating  to  Bources 
below  the  river-bed  which  did  not  freeze.  The  marshiness 
of  the  ground  in  the  central  section  added  to  the  difficulty. 
Many  parts  of  the  route  were  only  to  be  traversed  on  horseback 
or  on  foot,  and  during  the  thaw  and  in  the  rainy  season  from 
June  to  August  were  entirely  inaccessible.  The  country 
opened  up  by  this  railway  is  being  rapidly  populated  :  big 
villages  are  growing  up  where  the  line  crosses  the  Zeya  and 
the  Bureya,  the  village  of  Surazhevka  having  been  made 
already  into  the  town  of  Aleksycevsk.  The  Avestern  part  of 
the  line  abounds  in  gold  and  there  are  coal  deposits  on  the 
lower  reaches  of  the  Bureya.  It  is  ascertained  that  300,000 
colonists  can  be  suitably  settled  in  the  district  east  of  the 
Zeya  ;  twenty  industrial  settlements  are  growing  up  along 
the  line,  and  a  successful  future  for  the  timber  industry  is 

The  Ussuri  Railway 

At  Khabarovsk  the  Amur  Railway  joins  the  Ussuri  Railway. 
The  line  follows  the  right  bank  of  the  Ussuri  River,  crossing 
frequent  tributaries  and  high  watersheds  formed  by  the  out- 
spurs  of  the  Sikhota  Alin  Range.  Beyond  Kruglikov  the 
country  becomes  flat  and  marshy  again,  and  then  the  line 
passes  through  virgin  forest  of  gigantic  cedar  and  larch, 
intertwined  with  wild  vines  and  creepers.  At  Gedik  the 
highest  point  on  the  line  is  reached,  445  ft.  above  sea-level. 
To  Muravievo-Amurskaya  the  line  continues  to  follow  the 
right  bank  of  the  Ussuri,  of  which  the  left  bank  belongs  to 
Manchuria.  The  country  is  hilly  and  wooded.  The  line  is 
from  2  to  26|  miles  from  the  river.  After  crossing  the  Ussuri, 
the  line  enters  the  swampy  Prikhankoisk  basin  along  Lake 
Khanka,  after  which  it  crosses  the  watershed  between  the 
Lefu  and  Suifun  Rivers.  At  Nikolsk-Ussuriski  the  line  joins 
the  main  railroad  to  Vladivostok.  The  double  track  between 
these  two  places  is  now  completed.  The  grades  are  as  follows  : 
for  the  first  228  miles  from  Khabarovsk  (i.  e.  to  2  miles  before 
Ussuri),  1  in  100  in  eurves  up  to  3,500  ft.,  and  1  in  125  in 


curves  of  2,100  ft. ;  from  there  to  Nikolsk-Ussuriski  the  grade 
is  1  in  125  in  2,100  ft.  curves. 

The  Altai  Railway 

The  railway  from  Novo-Nikolaevsk  to  Barnaul  and  Semi-I 
palatinsk  was  opened  in  November  1915.  It  opens  up 
an  important  mining  district,  and  the  advisability  of  con-| 
btructing  such  a  line  was  demonstrated  by  the  fact  that 
from  its  opening  the  number  of  passengers  was  much  larger 
than  the  builders  anticipated.  The  line  could  not  carry  all 
the  passengers,  and  many  were  compelled  to  wait  several 
days.  Daily  trains  with  cars  of  3  classes  were  running  regu- 
larly, the  cars  being  new  and  comfortable.  When  the  line 
was  first  used  the  station-buildings  were  unfinished,  and  a 
dining-room  only  was  opened  in  Barnaul.  A  branch  line  runs 
from  Altaiskaya  to  Biisk. 

Other  Siberian  Railways 

Three  other  important  branches  from  the  main  line  of  the 
Siberian  Railway  have  recently  been  opened. 

From  Tatarskaya,  105  miles  east  of  Omsk,  a  line  goes  south- 
east into  the  Kulundinsk  steppes  to  Slavgorod.  It  was  built 
by  private  enterprise.  The  whole  region  it  traverses  was 
practically  uninhabited  in  1907  but  by  1912  was  being  rapidly 
settled  by  emigrants.  It  is  proposed  to  extend  this  line  to 
Semipalatinsk,  and  to  link  Slavgorod  to  Pavlodar  on  the  River 
Irtish,  and  to  Barnaul  on  the  River  Ob  and  the  Altai  Railway. 

From  Yurga,  385  miles  west  of  Krasnoyarsk,  there  is  a  short 
line,  via  Kolchugino,  built  by  private  enterprise  to  tap  the 
coal-fields  lying  north  of  Kuznetsk,  which  town  is  the 
terminus  of  the  railway. 

The  Minusinsk  line  leaves  the  Siberian  Railway  at  Achinsk 
and  extends  through  hilly  country  to  Minusinsk  on  the  River 
Yenisei.  It  passes  through  a  fertile  region  with  considerable 
coal  and  iron  resources. 

Three  short  railways  built  for  mining  purposes  are  not  con- 
nected with  the  main  Siberian  Railway.     One  is  between  the 

OT HE  R  S I  B  E  R 1 A X  RAILWA YS  35 1 

coal  mines  of  Ekibas-tuse  and  the  River  Irtish,  it  is  70  miles 
Long  and  is  of  standard  gauge.  A  second  is  from  the  zinc 
mines  of  Riderski  to  Ust-Kamenogorsk.  It  is  70  miles  long 
and  has  a  3  ft.  gauge.  The  last  runs  from  Bodaibo  to  the 
Vitim,  a  distance  of  15  miles.     It  is  narrow  gauge. 

The  Murman  Railway 

The  total  cost  of  construction  is  estimated  at  £2,200,000. 
From  Zvanka,  70  miles  from  Petrograd,  a  line  has  been 
constructed  by  the  Olonets  Railway  for  176$  miles  to  Petro- 
zavodsk. This  has  been  built  with  French  capital  but  taken 
over  by  the  Russian  Government.  From  Petrozavodsk  to 
Murmansk  the  line  is  divided  into  3  sections  :  (1)  from  Petro- 
zavodsk to  Soroka  where  the  line  reaches  the  White  Sea, 
opened  in  1915,  (2)  from  Soroka  to  Kandalaksha,  opened  in 
1917,  (3)  from  Kandalaksha  to  Murmansk,  opened  in  1916. 
The  last  section  was  constructed  by  British  engineers.  Traffic 
had  started  on  the  third  section  before  the  middle  section  was 
completed,  but,  while  it  was  being  made,  traffic  was  taken 
from  Kandalaksha  to  Kem  or  Soroka  by  sea.  The  whole 
railway  is  of  Russian  standard  gauge  and  is  the  property  of 
the  Russian  Government.  The  line  is  single  and  there  are 
passing  sidings  every  10-12  miles.  The  line  will  afford  oppor- 
tunities for  exploiting  timber  and  wood-pulp.  At  present  its 
chief  importance  is  strategic. 

Between  Petrozavodsk  and  Kem  the  line  traverses  wild  and 
almost  uninhabited  country,  full  of  forests  and  lakes.  From 
Kem  to  Kandalaksha  it  passes  through  a  succession  of  small 
lakes,  swamps,  and  virgin  forests.  The  third  section  goes 
across  the  Kola  Peninsula,  which  is  uninhabited  but  for  the 
coastal  strip.  This  part  of  the  line,  however,  was  of  com- 
paratively easy  construction,  and  the  material  for  it  was 
shipped  direct  to  Kola. 

The  section  between  Murmansk  and  Kem  becomes  almost 
unworkable  in  summer  owing  to  the  swampy  nature  of  the 
country.  No  great  speed  can  be  obtained.  The  rest  of  the 
line  is  firmer. 


Probably  six  trains  a  day  could  pass  each  way  in  case  of 
necessity.  There  are  two  patterns  of  trucks,  the  Russian  and 
the  American.  Large  numbers  of  the  latter  are  being  used. 
The  closed  trucks  have  the  following  dimensions  : 

./hiss  ian .  .  1  merican . 

Length 21ft.  13  ft. 

Breadth 9  ft.  8  ft.  9  in. 

Height 7  ft.  3  in.  7  ft.  9  in. 

Carrying  eapacity        .          .          .20  tons  39  tons 

Arkhangel-Vologda  Railway 

This  line  was  narrow  gauge  at  the  outbreak  of  the  war. 
To  cope  with  the  increased  traffic  via  Arkhangel,  a  third  raij 
for  standard-gauge  rolling-stock  was  laid  from  Arkhangel 
to  Nyandoma  (214  miles).  Thence  to  Vologda  (180  miles) 
a  standard-gauge  line  was  laid  beside  the  narrow-gauge  line. 
Later  the  narrow-gauge  line  between  Nyandoma  and  Vologda 
was  converted  to  broad  gauge,  thus  giving  a  double  track  on 
this  part  of  the  railway.  It  was  then  proposed  to  double  the 
line  from  Arkhangel  to  Nyandoma. 

In  1916  the  maximum  number  of  trucks  that  could  be  dealt 
with  in  a  day  from  Arkhangel  Mas  475. 

New  and  Projected  Railways 

The  most  important  schemes  of  railway-construction  are  : 

(1)  The  Southern  Siberian  Railway,  which  is  under  construc- 
tion, will  link  up  the  Altai  Railway  from  its  present  terminus 
at  Semipalatinsk  to  Orsk,  passing  by  Akmolinsk  and  Atbasar. 
From  Orsk  it  is  to  be  prolonged  to  unite  with  the  Tashkent 
line  at  Martuk  Station.  It  is  anticipated  this  line  will  greatly 
stimulate  emigration  from  the  less  productive  provinces 
European  Russia  into  lands  where  there  are  millions  of  suital 
acres  waiting  for  development,  but  at  present  too  far  from  ai 
railway  for  colonization  to  be  possible. 

(2)  The  railway  already  constructed  from  Poletaevo 
Troitsk  will  be  continued  to  Fedorova  and  Kustanai  in  tl 
northern  part  of  the  Turgai  Province. 


(3)  A  line  from  Petropavlovsk  to  Kokchetav  in  the  north 
of  the  Kirghiz  steppe  has  been  mooted.  It  will  be  about  100 
miles  long  and  will  serve  the  country  between  the  I  shim  and 
the  Irtish. 

(4)  A  line  was  opened  on  January  11,  1917,  from  Yekaterin- 
burg by  way  of  Irbit  and  Turinsk  to  Saitkovo  on  the  Tavda ; 
it  is  proposed  to  continue  it  to  Tobolsk. 

(5)  A  very  important  line  has  been  projected  from  Soroka 
on  the  Pomorski  coast  to  the  River  Ob,  a  distance  of  about 
1,000  miles.  It  was  originally  intended  to  have  the  terminus 
at  Arkhangel,  but  this  idea  seems  to  have  been  given  up  in 
favour  of  a  terminus  at  Soroka,  where  a  harbour  for  vessels 

i  of  larger  draught  can  be  constructed.  Such  a  railway  is  of 
immense  importance  in  order  to  bring  about  the  commercial 
success  of  the  Murman  Railway.  The  route  presents  no 
great  difficulties  of  construction,  and  would  not  entail  the 
climatic   difficulties   that   attended   the   construction  of  the 

j  Murman  Railway.  In  1916  both  routes  (to  Arkhangel  and  to 
Soroka)  were  being  surveyed.  The  line,  as  originally  proposed, 
was  to  run  from  Arkhangel  to  Pinega  and  then  through  the 
Ukhta  district,  and  over  the  Pechora  River  at  Troitsko- 
Pechorskoe  to  a  landing-stage  on  the  River  Ob  near  Chema- 
shevskoe  (63°  N.  lat.).  There  is  to  be  a  branch  on  the  east  side 
of  the  Urals  to  the  Nadezhdinski  works  on  the  Bogoslovski 
Railway  linking  up  with  Yekaterinburg.  It  is  anticipated 
that  the  cost  will  be  £10,032,000  ;  it  is  estimated  that  the 
annual  goods  traffic  over  the  line  will  be  from  30  to  45 
million  cwt.  The  objects  of  the  line  are  to  develop  the  forest 
regions  of  northern  Russia,  to  stimulate  the  mining  of  the 
northern  Urals,  and  to  provide  Siberia  with  an  important 
outlet  for  its  trade.  The  length  of  the  line  will  be  about  1,000 
miles.  Another  proposal,  which  has  more  to  recommend  it, 
is  to  extend  the  Vyatka-Kotlas  line  north-west  to  meet  the 
Murman  Railway  at  Soroka  on  the  White  Sea. 

(6)  Closely  related  to  these  schemes  is  the  project  for  the 
so-called  Arctic  Railway  from  Obdorsk,  or  some  place  on  the 
River  Ob  near  by,  across  the  Ural  Mountains  to  a  port  in  the 



eastern  Barents  Sea.     This  would  obviate  the  difficult  passage 
of  the  Kara  Sea  and  make  a  good  outlet  for  the  trade  of 
Siberia.     The  Urals  afford  fairly  easy  passes  for  such  a  railway.  I 
The  former  proposal  for  a  port  on  the  Gulf  of  Baidaratskaya  I 
has  been  abandoned  in  favour  of  a  port  near  the  mouth  of  I 
the  River  Pechora,  possibly  near  the  entrance  to  Khaipudir-  -t 
skaya  Bay.     The  length  of  the  line  will  be  about  300  miles.  1 
Narrow  gauge  is  proposed.     The  cost,  exclusive  of  harbour 
works,  is  estimated  at  about  £2,250,000. 

(7)  Other  proposals  are  a  line  from  Achinsk  to  Yeniseisk, 
a  trunk  line  from  Tyumen  to  Tomsk,  crossing  the  River  Irtish 
at  Tara,  and  a  line  north  to  Tara  from  the  existing  railway 
lines.  Early  in  1917  it  was  decided  to  accelerate  the  construc- 
tion of  a  line  from  Yaroslav  in  European  Russia  by  way  of 
Kostroma,  Krasnoufimsk,  Ufalei,  and  Ishim  to  Tomsk. 

(8)  It  is  proposed  to  connect  the  gold-mining  district  of 
the  Lena  with  the  Siberian  Railway  by  a  line  from  Tulun 
which  will  reach  the  Lena  valley  at  Ust-Kutskoe  (94  miles). 
The  inhabitants  of  Irkutsk  are  anxious  that  the  line  should 
go  from  Irkutsk  via  Zhigalovskaya  and  for  this  reason  are 
agitating  to  improve  the  river-bed  between  Ust-Kutskoe  and 
Zhigalovskaya.  It  is  further  proposed  to  carry  the  line  on 
to  Bodaibo  on  the  Vitim  via  Kunerma,  the  distance  being 
1,000  miles  from  Tulun. 

(9)  There  is  talk  of  a  railway  either  from  Misovaya  or  from 
Verkhne-Udinsk  to  Kyakhta  in  order  to  bring  the  Mongolian 
markets  into  connexion  with  the  main  Siberian  line.  This 
railway  is  to  be  constructed  at  government  expense,  and  had 
been  approved  by  the  Council  of  Ministers  in  1913.  It  is 
understood  that  it  was  arranged  in  1915  to  extend  this  line 
to  Urga,  because  the  fall  of  Tsingtau  and  the  expulsion  o: 
German  trade  from  nearly  all  the  far  east  has  given  Russi 
great  opportunities  of  acquiring  fresh  markets  in  China. 

(10)  An  agreement  was  signed  on  March  27,  1916  for  a  ne 
railway  to  be  constructed  connecting  the  Chinese  Easte 
Railway  at  Tsitsihar  with  Aigun  on  the  Amur,  and  continuin 
a  few  miles  along  that  river  so  as  to  be  opposite  Blagovyes 


chensk.  A  branch  line  will  run  from  Mergen  about  halfway 
along  this  route  to  Kharbin,  which  will  increase  the  agricul- 
tural importance  of  this  district ;'  farther  north  timber  and 
mining  are  more  important  industries.  The  length  of  these 
lines  will  be  about  650  miles  in  all. 

(11)  A  short  line  is  projected  from  de  Castries  Bay  to 
Sofiisk  on  the  lower  Amur. 

(12)  A  line  was  strongly  advocated  by  the  late  Governor- 
General  of  the  Priamur  to  link  the  Ussuri  Railway  with  Olgi 
Bay  and  Imperatorskaya  Harbour,  which  would  be  of  great 
service  for  the  export  of  timber. 

(14)  According  to  the  Russian  press  the  committee  under 
the  chairmanship  of  the  Assistant  Minister  of  Ways  and  Com- 
munications included  in  the  estimates  of  1917  the  execution 
of  an  economical  and  technical  survey  of  the  railroad  from 
Aleksyeevsk  to  Nikolaevsk  on  the  Amur. 




Prehistoric  Races — Early  Relations  with  Russia — The  Early  Conquerors — 
Attempts  to  conquer  the  Amur  Region — The  Treaty  of  Aigun — The  Peking 
Convention — Russia  and  Japan — Russian  Advance  in  Mongolia. 

In  prehistoric  times  Siberia,  especially  in  the  south-west, 
was  far  more  densely  populated  than  it  is  at  present.  Neo- 
lithic remains  are  numerous.  Many  peoples  have  doubtless 
been  driven  into  the  inhospitable  north  before  successive 
waves  of  emigration. 

Prehistoric  Races 

In  the  Yenisei  valley  and  throughout  the  south-west  of 
Siberia  there  are  found  a  number  of  tumuli  containing  the 
remains  of  a  highly-developed  branze  civilization,  when  gold 
and  silver  were  also  largely  worked.  These  are  generally 
thought  to  belong  to  a  primitive  Yeniseian  race.  In  the 
third  century  the  Uigurs,  a  Turkic  steck,  are  said  to  have 
overrun  the  country  during  the  time  of  the  wanderings  of 
the  Huns,  and  the  resulting  people  are  generally  known  as 
Ugro-Samoyedes.  They  built  tumuli  over  their  dead,  which 
they  adorned  with  monoliths.  These  were  sometimes  simple 
pillars,  but  were  more  often  carved  into  human  likenesses, 
many  of  them  with  astonishingly  realistic  features.  These 
monoliths  occur  throughout  south-western  Siberia,  but  ai 
most  common  in  the  Minusinsk  district,  where  they  invariably 
face  north  and  south.  Iron  and  bronze  implements  are  founc 
in  large  numbers  in  the  tombs,  but  gold  and  silver  are  rai 
The    Ugro-Samoyedes    were    great    agriculturists,    irrigati] 

1  These  notes  are  not  carried  beyond  1916  and  so  do  not  include 
Russian  Revolution  of  1917. 



wide  tracts  of  land.  Modern  settlers  not  infrequently  open 
up  and  use  their  canals  to-day.  Eight  centuries  later  these 
Ugro-Samoyedes  were  subdued  by  another  Turkic  stock, 
also  highly  civilized,  which  maintained  its  power  till  the 
Mongols  under  Jenghiz  Khan  swept  over  the  land  and  utterly 
destroyed  its  civilization. 

Early  Relations  with  Russia 
By  the  end  of  the  eleventh  century  the  energetic  merchants 
of  Novgorod  had  penetrated  into  Siberia,  or  Ugra,  as  it  was 
then  called,  as  far  as  the  present  government  of  Tobolsk. 
In  the  fourteenth  century  they  even  established  settlements 
on  the  Taz.  These  nourished  until  the  Russian  Government 
closed  the  Kara  Sea.  Not  only  Russian,  but  Dutch  and  Eng- 
lish merchants,  and  even  Russian  emigrants,  used  the  Kara 
Sea  route  at  this  time  until  embargoes  were  placed  upon  it. 
But  in  1662  the  Ostyaks  destroyed  the  rapidly-decaying 
settlements  on  the  Taz. 

These  men  of  Novgorod  were  mere  fur- traders,  with  no 
idea  of  conquest.  But  meanwhile  the  people  of  Moscow 
were  systematically  advancing  towards  the  Urals,  and  during 
the  sixteenth  century  began  to  enter  into  close  relations  with 
the  tribes  on  the  other  side.  Tartar  hordes  had  recently 
brought  them  into  some  kind  of  subjection.  In  1555  Ediger 
Khan,  who  had  united  the  small  Tartar  principalities  into 
a  kingdom,  consented  to  pay  a  tribute  of  1,000  sables  to 
Moscow  in  return  for  a  protection  which  the  Tsar  was  in- 
capable of  affording,  though  he  welcomed  the  tribute. 

The  Cossacks 
The  conquest  of  Siberia  was  the  work  of  the  Cossacks. 
These  are  not,  as  is  generally  supposed,  a  body  of  irregular 
horse,  but  a  section  of  the  Russian  people  with  special  duties 
and  special  privileges.  Thus  in  1851  Count  Muraviev  con- 
verted the  Nerchinsk  peasants  into  Cossacks.  The  Cossack 
unit  is  the  stanitsa  or  village.  They  hold  their  land  in  common 
and  have  the  right  to  let  it.     They  are  liable  to  military 


service  between  the  ages  of  18  and  48.  They  receive  a  money- 
allowance  from  the  Government,  which  also  supplies  them 
with  arms,  but  they  must  provide  their  own  equipment  and 
their  own  horses,  if  mounted.  Large  stretches  of  land  are 
reserved  for  them,  usually  on  the  frontiers.  They  are  divided 
into  sotnyas,  each  of  which  mannages  its  own  affairs. 

The  Early  Conquerors 

Yermak,  the  first  conqueror  of  Siberia,  was  a  tracker  on 
the  Volga,  then  a  pirate  on  that  river  among  the  Don  Cossacks, 
till  his  success  attracted  the  dangerous  attention  of  the 
authorities.  He  fled  to  the  Stroganovs,  the  great  merchant 
family  of  Perm.  They  had  long  coveted  the  rich  furs  of 
Ugra  and  were  only  too  glad  to  make  use  of  Yermak  to 
satisfy  their  ambitions.  They  provided  him  and  his  800  men 
with  everything  they  required  for  their  expedition,  including 
three  priests  and  a  runaway  monk.  In  1580  Yermak  reached 
the  Tura,  wintering  where  Tyumen  now  stands,  and  in  the 
following  year  he  took  the  famous  fort  of  Isker,  or  Sibir,  near 
Tobolsk,  from  which  the  name  of  Siberia  is  sometimes  derived. 
Ivan  the  Terrible  rewarded  him  with  a  free  pardon  for  his 
early  misdeeds.  By  1584,  when  he  was  drowned  in  the 
Irtish,  Yermakrs  conquests  extended  from  the  confluence  of 
the  Ob  and  the  Irtish  to  the  Tagil  and  the  Tura,  and  he  had 
secured  them  by  forts  at  Tyumen  and  Tobolsk. 

The  romantic  story  of  the  conquest  of  Siberia  recalls  that 
of  Mexico  or  Peru.  It  was  made  possible  only  by  the  help- 
lessness of  the  natives  in  the  face  of  firearms.  Yermak's 
success  shook  the  cohesion  of  the  Tartar  power,  and  his 
conquests  therefore  survived  his  death.  A  stockaded  ostrog, 
garrisoned  by  a  few  Cossacks  with  a  gun  or  two,  could  hold 
down  an  enormous  expanse  of  country  in  the  wild  northern 
regions.  But  the  Cossacks  were  as  yet  unable  to  overthrow 
the  stronger  barbarian  organizations  of  the  south.  Hence 
they  followed  the  line  of  least  resistance  towards  the  east 
and  the  north.  Thus  Berezov  was  founded  in  1593,  11  years 
/\     before  Tomsk.     Furs  were  to  the  Cossacks  what  gold  was  to 



the  Spaniards,  and  these  were  still  to  be  found  in  plenty  in 
the  sparsejy  inhabited  districts  into  which  they  penetrated. 

Moreover,  the  Cossacks  were  born  sailors.  We  find  Yermak 
for  instance,  damming  a  stream  with  sails  in  order  to  secure 
sufficient  water  for  his  boats.  Their  natural  method  of 
progress  was  to  sail  down  one  river,  haul  their  boats  over 
the  portage,  and  then  sail  down  another.  And  none  of  the 
principal  rivers  of  Siberia  runs  south.  Yeniseisk  was  founded 
in  1618,  and  12  years  later  the  Lena  was  reached.  The 
Yakutsk  ostrog  dates  from  1637.  Ostrogs  were  also  estab- 
lished at  Tomsk,  Turukhansk,  Olekminsk,  Irkutsk,  and  other 
places.  The  conquerors  met  with  little  effective  resistance 
from  the  scanty  population,  though  the  Tungus  were  only 
subdued,  after  a  desperate  struggle  about  1623. 

Access  to  the  Pacific  Ocean 

As  there  are  no  tributaries  connecting  the  Lena  with  other 
great  eastern  rivers  by  easy  portages,  the  Cossack  Buse,  who 
Mas  sent  to  collect  tribute  from  the  northern  tribes,  sailed 
down  the  Lena  in  1638  and  out  at  its  western  arm  to  the 
Olenek  and  the  Yana.  In  1639  he  discovered  the  Indigirka. 
The  hardships  endured  by  the  Cossacks  on  these  expeditions 
in  the  unknown  Arctic  Ocean  were  often  terrible,  and,  unlike 
Yermak,  they  soon  began  to  treat  the  natives  with  the 
utmost  cruelty.  In  1644  Nizhne-Kolimsk  was  founded  on 
the  Kolima.  Four  years  later  the  Cossack  Dezhnev,  after 
whom  the  Russians  have  justly  re-named  East  Cape  Cape 
Dezhneva,  made  his  wonderful  voyage  round  the  coast  to 
the  Anadir,  sailing  through  the  Bering  Straits  80  years 
before  Bering  rc-discovercd  them.  On  the  Anadir  he  was 
joined  b}'  other  Cossacks,  who  had  come  from  the  Kolima 
by  land  along  the  Anyui  and  over  the  watershed.  The 
Okhotsk  ostrog  was  built  in  1647,  in  spite  of  the  fierce  resist- 
ance of  the  Buryats.  By  1697  Kamchatka  was  explored  to 
Cape  Lopatka  and  an  ostrog  built  at  Verkhne-Kamchatsk. 
But  there   were   serious   mutinies   and   quarrels  among  the 


Cossacks  and  their  leaders  in  this  remote  district,  which  was 
highly  prized  on  account  of  its  wealth  in  furs. 

Attempts  to  Conquer  the  Amur  Region 
In  1643  Poyarkov  started  up  the  Aldan  and  then  sailed 
down  the  Zeya  and  the  Amur  to  its  mouth,  returning  by  the 
Sea  of  Okhotsk  to  the  mouth  of  the  Ulya,  then  back  to 
Yakutsk  by  the  Maya.  His  name  is  commemorated  in 
•  Poyarkova  on  the  Amur.  This  remarkable  voyage  lasted 
three  years. 

We  now  meet  with  the  second  great  name  among  the 
j  Siberian  conquerors,  Khabarov,  the  merchant  of  Olekminsk, 
,  who  occupied  a  position  on  the  Lena  not  unlike  that  of  the 
Stroganovs  at  Perm.  In  1649-50  he  fitted  out  an  expedition 
to  the  Amur,  taking  the  much  shorter  route  along  the  Olekma. 
He  seized  Albazin,  then  sailed  down  the  Amur  and  wintered 
at  the  place  which  now  bears  his  name,  Khabarovsk,  where 
he  successfully  resisted  the  attacks  of  large  Chinese  forces. 
\  Compelled  to  retreat,  he  established  a  post  at  the  mouth 
of  the  Zeya.  The  fact  that  he  instinctively  selected  Albazin, 
Blagovyeshchcnsk,  or  Ust-Zeya  as  it  was  then  called,  and 
Khabarovsk  for  his  posts — all  places  which  have  since  proved 
to  be  of  primary  importance  in  the  history  of  the  river — is 
a  striking  proof  of  his  foresight.  He  also  insisted  from  the 
first  that  at  least  6,000  men  were  necessary  for  the  conquest 
of  the  Amur,  and  he  would  probably  have  succeeded  in  the 
enterprise,  had  they  been  forthcoming.  But  such  an  army 
could  not  have  been  raised  or  even  supported  in  Siberia  at 
this  time. 

X  Meanwhile  the  Russians  were  advancing  in  the  Transbaikal, 
the  natural  base  for  an  attack  on  the  Amur.  In  1649  Verkhne- 
Udinsk  was  founded,  and  by  1654  Nerchinsk,  on  the  other 
side  of  the  watershed.  Then  Beketov,  after  whom  Beketova 
on  the  Amur  is  named,  pushed  along  the  Ingoda  and  the 
Shilka  till  he  reached  the  Amur  proper,  thus  discovering  the 
quickest  way  to  the  river.  The  Cossacks  still  maintained 
their  hold,  but  the  Chinese,  exasperated  by  their  raids  along 


the  Ussuri  into  the  heart  of  Manchuria,  were  determined  to 
drive  them  out,  at  all  costs. 

In  1655  they  failed' to  take  Kumarskaya  with  an  enormous 
army,  and  for  a  time  Russian  prospects  looked  brighter. 
But  even  Tolbuzin's  heroic  defence  of  Albazin  in  1684  and 
1685  was  unavailing.  His  name  is  preserved  in  Tolbuzina, 
close  to  Albazin,  on  the  Amur.  The  numbers  of  the  Cossacks 
were  inadequate  for  their  task,  and  Russia,  weakened  by 
internal  troubles,  ended  by  ceding  the  Amur  to  China  by  the/ 
Treaty  of  Nerchinsk  (1689). 

The  eighteenth  century  was  marked  by  the  beginning  of 
the  scientific  exploration  and  organized  settlement  of  Siberia. 
Numerous  expeditions  were  sent  to  subdue  the  tribes  of  the 
north-east,  notably  the  Chukchee,  but  they  were  never  more 
than  partially  successful. 

Muraviev  and  the  Amur 

As  time  went  on  Russia  felt  more  and  more  the  disadvantage 
under  which  she  laboured  in  not  having  a  suitable  outlet  on 
the  Pacific.  Her  occupation  of  the  Amur  was  due  almost 
entirely  to  the  energy  of  Count  Muraviev-Amurski,  the  third 
great  name  in  the  history  of  Siberia.  In  1849  he  sent  Nevei- 
ski,  who  has  given  an  alternative  name  to  the  Gulf  of  Tartarv. 
to  explore  the  mouth  of  the  river.  He  thus  learnt  that 
Sakhalin  was  an  island  and  that  the  river-mouth  was  access- 
ible to  sea-going  ships.  In  1850  Nevelski  established  a  port 
at  Nikolaevsk  in  defiance  of  all  rights.  Two  years  later 
de  Castries  Bay  and  Mariinsk  were  occupied,  while  posts 
were  established  on  Sakhalin.  Buse  and  Korsakov,  after 
whom  settlements  on  the  Amur  have  been  named,  also  played 
an  active  part  in  these  proceedings. 

But  Russia  owes  her  hold  on  the  Amur  to  the  Crimean  War, 
in  the  course  of  which  a  strong  force  of  French  and  British 
seamen  was  defeated  by  a  handful  of  Cossacks  in  an  attempt 
to  take  Petropavlovsk  in  Kamchatka.  Not  till  1854  did  the 
Tsar  consent  to  an  expedition  down  the  Amur  under  Muraviev. 
In   the   following   year   a  large    flotilla    was    sent,    bringing 


much-needed  assistance  to  the  Russian  Pacific  squadron. 
The  settlement  of  peasants  along  the  left  bank  was  begun 
in  1856  with  colonies  at  the  mouths  of  the  Kumara,  the  Zeya 
and  the  Sungari  and  at  the  entrance  to  the  Little  Khingan 
gorge  ;   and  the  process  was  steadily  continued. 

The  Treaty  of  Aigun 
China,  which  had  never  attempted  to  occupy  the  left  bank 
of  the  Amur,  accepted  the  inevitable,  and  by  the  Treaty  of 
Aigun,  in  1858,  ceded  to  Russia  all  territory  on  the  left  bank 
of  the  Amur  from  the  Argun  to  the  sea.  The  territory  on  the 
right  bank  of  the  Amur  from  the  Argun  to  the  Ussuri  went  to 
China.  The  territory  between  the  Ussuri  and  the  sea  was  to 
remain  neutral  ground  between  the  two  empires,  pending 
a  delimitation  of  the  frontiers.  The  Amur,  Sungari  and  Ussuri 
were  to  be  open  to  the  navigation  of  Russian  and  Chinese 
vessels,  but  closed  to  the  vessels  of  other  countries. 

The  Peking  Convention 

The  Peking  Convention  of  1860  defined  the  boundary  be- 
tween Russia  and  Manchuria  as  following  the  Argun,  Amur, 
and  Ussuri,  and  Sungacha,  to  Lake  Khanka.  From  the 
source  of  the  Sungacha  the  boundary  crosses  Lake  Khanka 
to  the  mouth  of  the  Pai-ling  and  thence  follows  a  line  des- 
cribed in  the  Convention  (Chinese  text)  as  follows  :  '  From  the 
mouth  of  the  Pai-ling  River  along  a  mountain  range  to  the 
mouth  of  the  Hu-pu-tu  River,  and  from  the  mouth  of  the  Hu- 
pu-tu  River  down  the  Hunchun  River  and  along  the  range  of 
mountains  between  that  river  and  the  sea  to  the  mouth  of  the 
Tumen  River.'  '  The  frontier  meets  the  Tumen  River  at  about 
20  li  (6  miles)  from  its  mouth.' 

(On  all  Russian  maps  the  frontier  follows  tho  Hu-pu-ti 
River  (Khubtu)  throughout  its  course,  and  goes  along  tin 
mountain  range  between  the  Hun-chun  River  and  the  sea  unti 
it  meets  the  River  Tumen.) 

Russian  Ports  on  the  Pacific 

Before  the  days  of  Muraviev  Okhotsk  had  been  the  Russiai 

military  and  naval  port  on  the  Pacific,  but  in  1850,  deceive* 


by  the  beauties  of  Avacha  Bay  in  Kamchatka  in  summer,  the 
Governor  General  had  made  it  the  head-quarters  of  the 
Pacific  squadron.  Ten  years  later  the  squadron  was  trans- 
ferred to  Nikolaevsk.  Russia  was  now  in  possession  of 
Vladivostok,  but  she  did  not  make  it  her  naval  base  till 
1872,  since  when  its  growth  has  been  very  rapid. 

The  Fifty-Verst  Zone 
The  Convention  of  Peking  stipulated  that  there  should 
be  free  trade  between  the  two  empires  along  the  new  frontiers. 
An  agreement  extending  over  a  period  of  30  years,  which  was 
confirmed  in  Petrograd  in  1881,  established  a  50-verst  zone 
along  the  entire  frontier  within  which  no  customs  dues  were 
to  be  collected.  In  practice  this  meant  that  Chinese  goods 
were  admitted  duty-free  into  Siberia  along  the  Amur,  though 
Russian  merchants  also  did  a  considerable  trade  with  China 
further  west.  Russia  denounced  the  agreement  on  its 
expiration  on  January  1,  1912. 

Russia  and  Japan 
Manchuria  and  the  Russo-Japanese  War 

Russia  began  her  Manchurian  adventure  with  the  agree- 
ment between  the  Chinese  Government  and  the  Russo- 
Chinese  Bank  in  1896.  This  brought  into  being  the  Chinese 
Eastern  Railway  Company,  which  was  to  link  the  Trans- 
baikal  Railway  with  the  Ussuri  Railway  at  Vladivostok. 
Shares  could  only  be  held  by  Russians  and  Chinese.  Russia 
thus  definitely  abandoned  the  longer  and  more  difficult  route 
along  the  Amur  through  her  own  territory  in  favour  of  the 
shorter  route  through  Manchuria.  The  railway  company 
had  the  right  to  a  strip  of  territory  on  each  side  of  the  line 
within  Avhich  it  exercised  absolute  control,  while  Kharbin 
in  the  Kirin  Province  was  established  as  the  head-quarters 
of  the  line.  It  has  now  become  one  of  the  most  important 
Russian  towns  in  the  Far  East. 

Two  years  later,  in  1898,  Russia  obtained  the  lease  of 
Port  Arthur  and  Talienwan  (Dairen  or  Dalny)  on  the  Liao- 


tung  Peninsula.  After  the  Boxer  rising  in  1900,  when  the 
Chinese  were  driven  into  the  Amur  at  Blagovyeshchensk  andj 
Aigun  was  destroyed,  the  Russians  occupied  large  areas  inj 
Manchuria  which  they  declined  to  surrender.  They  rapidly] 
extended  their  influence  both  in  Manchuria  and  Korea. 

Then  came  the  Russo-Japanese  War,  followed  by  the! 
Treaty  of  Portsmouth  of  1905.  Russia  recognized  Japan's! 
paramount  influence  in  Korea,  ceded  to  her  all  her  rights  in! 
Port  Arthur  and  Talienwan  (Dairen)  and  the  railway  between' 
Port  Arthur  and  Changchun  and  handed  over  to  her  the 
occupied  districts  in  Manchuria,  which  were  restored  to  China. 
Japan  was  also  entitled  to  fishing-rights  in  the  Japan  and 
Bering  Seas  and  the  Sea  of  Okhotsk.  Japan  had  acquired  the 
Kuril  Islands  in  exchange  for  the  southern  portion  of  Sakhalin 
by  a  treaty  with  Russia  in  1875.  But  the  Treaty  of  Ports- 
mouth again  divided  the  island  between  the  two  powers  at 
the  line  of  50°  N.  lat.  Russia  thus  abandoned  her  attempts 
to  become  the  dominant  power  in  Manchuria,  where  her 
authority  has  rapidly  declined,  and  the  Chinese  themselves 
are  now  steadily  settling  the  province.  The  construction  of 
the  Amur  Railway  thus  became  a  strategic  necessity  for 
Russia.  The  building  of  a  line  from  Aigun  southward  to 
Tsitsihar,  linking  the  Chinese  Eastern  and  Amur  Railways, 
could  only  be  a  question  of  time,  and  in  1916  an  agreement 
was  concluded  between  Russia  and  China  by  which  Russia  is 
to  raise  a  5  per  cent,  loan  of  £5,000,000  after  the  war  for  the 
building  of  this  line.  It  is  to  be  controlled  by  Russians 
nominated  by  the  Russo-Chinese  Bank. 

Russo-Japanese  Agreement  of  1916 

The  growing  cordiality  of  the  relations  between  Russia  ai 
Japan,  which  resulted  in  the  alliance  of  1916,  is  furthc 
exemplified  by  Russia's  agreement  to  sell  Japan  the  southei 
half  of  the  Kharbin -Changchun  Railway,  comprising  a  sectic 
of  about  60  miles  and  including  the  line  from  Changchun 
the  left  bank  of  the  Sungari. 

Japan  has  never  accepted  Russia's  claim  to  exclude 


3ther  foreigners  from  the  navigation  of  the  Sungari  in  accord- 
ance with  the  Treaty  of  Aigun,  and  Russia  now  recognizes 
the  right  of  Japanese  shipping  to  navigate  the  Sungari 
between  Kirin  and  Pet  una. 

I  Russian  Advance  in  Mongolia 

The  establishment  of  the  50-verst  zone  in  1881  gave  a  great 
stimulus  to  Russian  peaceful  penetration  into  Chinese  territory 
south  of  the  Yeniseisk  Government.  Several  Russian  towns, 
of  which  Turanski  is  the  chief,  have  sprung  up  over  the  border 
and  Russian  settlers  are  increasing.  The  natives  prefer  to 
resort  to  the  Russian  schools  and  courts,  where  they  are 
better  treated.  Similarly  the  Russian  merchants  are  said  not 
to  exploit  them  to  nearly  the  same  extent  as  the  Chinese, 
who  profit  by  their  vices.  But  the  success  of  the  process 
depends  on  the  tact  of  the  officials.  Since  the  war  they  are 
said  to  have  become  more  autocratic.  Hence  the  natives  are 
growing  discontented  and  retiring  further  south. 

Meanwhile  the  Chinese  are  steadily  colonizing  Mongolia. 
This  movement,  like  their  immigration  into  Siberia,  is  pro- 
bably economic  in  origin,  whatever  results  it  may  ultimately 
bring  about.  It  has,  however,  caused  great  dissatisfaction 
among  the  nomad  Mongols  who  have  also  suffered  from  the 
Chinese  methods  of  trading.  On  the  overthrow  of  the  Manchu 
dynasty  in  1912  the  Mongol  chiefs  claimed  their  independence, 
holding  that  they  owed  no  allegiance  to  its  successors. 

A  Russo-Mongolian  agreement  was  signed  on  Oct.  21,  1912, 
recognizing  the  autonomy  of  Mongolia,  but  it  was  challenged 
by  China,  who  insisted  on  her  sovereign  rights  over  Mongolia. 
In  1913  Russia  admitted  China's  claim  to  suzerainty  in  Mon- 
golia on  condition  that  Mongolian  autonomy  was  recognized. 
By  this  agreement  Russia  secured  for  herself  substantial 
privileges  in  that  country.  The  agreement  does  not  appear  to 
have  been  received  with  much  favour  by  the  Mongols. 


Weights  and  Measures 

1  dolya 

1  zolotnik  (96  dol.) 
1  lot  (3  zol.) 
1  flint  (96  zol.) 
1  pud  (40  fimts) 

Measures  of  weight 
0-68  grains 
0-15  oz.  av. 
0-45  oz.  av. 
0-902  lb. 
0-32  cwt. 

(36-11  lb.  av.) 

1  berkovets  (10  puds)    3-22  cwt. 


4-44  centigrams 

4-26  grams 
12-79  grams 

0-409  kilograms 
16-38  kilograms 

163-804  kilograms 

1  dyuim 


1  vershok 

1  arshin  (16  v.) 

1  sazhen  (3  ar.) 

Measures  of  length 

1-75  in. 
2  ft.  4  in. 

7  ft.  (in  liquid  depth 
1  fathom) 

25-4  millimetres 
304-8  millimetres 
4-44  centimetres 
0*71  metres 
2-13  metres 

1  verst  (500  sazh.)      3,500  ft.,  or  0-6628  mile    1-06  kilometres 

Measures  of  area 

1  sq.  arshin  5-44  sq.  ft. 

1  sq.  sazhen  5-44  sq.  yd.  (49 

sq.  ft.) 

1  desyatin  (2,400  sq.  2-7  acres 


1  sq.  verst  (250,000  281-221  acres 

sq.  sazh.) 

4-54  sq.  metres 
1-09  hectares 
113-80  hectares 


Measures  of  volume 

1  cubic  vershok 

5-35  c.  in. 

87-81  c.c. 

1  cubic  arshin 

0-47  c.  yd. 

0-35  c.  metre 

1  cubic  sazhen 

12-70  c.  yd. 
Liquid  measures 

9-71  c.  metres 

1  charka 

0-21  pints 

0-12  litres 

1  bottle  (5  ch.) 

1-08  pints 

0-61  litres 

1  shtof  (10  ch.) 

1-08  quarts 

1-22  litres 

1  vedro  (100  ch.) 

2-706  gallons 

12-29  litres 

1  bochka  (40  ved.) 

108-27  gallons 
Dry  measures 

4-91  hectolitres 

1  garnets 

2-88  gallons 

3-27  litres 

1  chetverik  (8g.) 

0-72  bush. 

26-23  litres 

1  diet  vert  (8  chk.) 

5-77  bush. 


Measures  of  weight. 

2-09  hectolitres 



1  oz. 

6-64  zolotniks 


1-107  funt 

1  cwt. 

3-104  puds 

1  ton 

62-02  puds 
Measures  of  length 

1  in. 

0-57  vershok 


0-42  sazh.  or  1-28  arsh. 

1  mile 

'    1-508  versts  or  754-28  sazh. 

Measures  of  area 

1  sq.  yd. 

0-18  sq.  sazh. 

1  acre 

888-97  sq.  sazh.  or 

0-37  desyatin 

1  sq.  mile 

2-27  sq.  versts  or 

237-06  desyatins 


I  cubic  yd, 

Measures  of  volume 
0-078  cubic  sazh, 



1  pint 
1  quart 
1  gallon 

Liquid  measures 
4-61  charka 
9-23  charka 
0-36  vedro 

Dry  measures 

1  gallon 
1  bushel 
1  quarter 
1  chaldron 

0-34  garnets 
1-38  chetverik 
11-08  chetverik 
6-23  chetvert 

It  is  reported  that  the  Russian  Government  has  decided  to 
introduce  the  metric  system  in  August  1921  and  to  prohibit 
the  use  of  the  old  system  of  weights  and  measures  from 
January  1,  1925. 


The  legal  unit  is  the  silver  rouble  of  100  kopeks.  It  is 
treated  usually  as  the  equivalent  of  2s.  Id.  in  our  currency, 
but  the  exchange  is  very  variable.  In  this  book  for  all 
large  sums  and  round  numbers  2s.  has  been  taken  as  the 
equivalent ;  in  official  calculations  9-46  roubles  are  taken  as 
equal  to  the  pound  sterling.  Gold  coins  are  the  imperial  and 
half  imperial  of  15  and  7J  roubles.  New  gold  coins  are 
issued  bearing  the  inscription  of  10  roubles  and  5  roubles. 
Besides  the  silver  rouble,  credit  notes  (500,  100,  50,  25,  10, 
5,  3,  and  1  rouble)  are  legal  tender.  Paper  money  of  all 
denominations  down  to  one  kopek  has  been  in  use  since  the 
outbreak  of  the  war. 


Local  mean  times  are  used  throughout  Siberia.  Irkutsk 
time  is  6  hrs.  57  min.  15  sec.  fast,  and  Vladivostok  time 
8  hrs.  47  min.  34-5  sec.  fast  on  Greenwich  mean  time.  Russia 
in  Europe  uses  Petrograd  time,  which  is  that  of  Pulkova 
Observatory,  2  hrs.  1  min.  18-7  sec.  fast  on  Greenwich  mean 



The  Julian  calendar  is  still  in  use  in  Russian  lands.  It  is 
13  days  behind  the  Gregorian  calendar  used  in  other  countries, 
Throughout  this  book,  unless  old  style  (O.S.)  has  been  stated, 
all  dates  are  given  in  the  Gregorian  calendar. 

It  was  reported  in  1918  that  the  Gregorian  calendar  was  to 
be  adopted  throughout  Russian  lands. 

a  a 


This  glossary  contains  Russian  and  other  words  frequently 
used  in  the  text,  including  words,  with  their  usual  abbrevia- 
tions, which  occur  on  Russian  maps.  In  the  case  of  adjectives 
the  masculine  termination  (-»)  is  given.  The  neuter  termina- 
tion is  generally  -oe,  and  the  feminine  -aya. 

Aba,  tomb  of  local  hero  (Kirghiz). 

Artel,  group  of  workers  ;   trade  union. 

Aul,  encampment. 

Balagan,  hut  of  wood  and  thatch. 

Balog,  family  sledge. 

Boloto,  marsh. 

Bolshoi,  Bol.,  great. 

Bor,  hill,  sometimes  pine  forest. 

Brat,  brother. 

Brodyagi,  escaped  convicts. 

Byeli,  white. 

Cherni,  black. 

Chernozem,  black  earth. 

Chud,  primitive  inhabitants  of  Siberia. 

Chum,  Samoyede  or  Ostyak  tent. 

Dekabrists,  those  who  took  part  in  the  plot  of  Dec.  14,  1825. 

Derevnya,  village  without  church. 

Dobrovolni,  voluntary  followers  of  exiles. 

Doroga,  road. 

Drozhki,  cab. 

Dukhobors,  sect,  '  spiritual  fighters.' 

Duma,  council  or  council  chamber. 

Dur,  dying  of  the  water  on  the  Ob,  &c,  see  Vol.  II.  Chap.  V. 

Fabrika,  factory. 

Forpost,  F„  military  outpost. 

Gora,  G.,  mountain. 

Gorbusha,  kind  of  salmon. 

Gorod,  town. 

Guba,  bay. 


Gubemiya,  government. 

Ispravnik,  official  in  charge  of  district ;  police  commissioner. 

Izba,  winter  hut. 

Kamen,  rock  ;   stone,  or  cliff. 

Karaul,  Kar.,  picket-station  ;   guard-house. 

Kayak,  skin  boat  for  one  man. 

Kedr,  white  cedar  or  cembra  pine. 

Kereoshka,  boat-sledge  drawn  by  reindeer. 

Kerka,  log-house  of  Zirians. 

Keta,  kind  of  salmon. 

Khodok,  advance  agent  of  emigrants. 

Khiebet,  mountain  range. 

Kolodnik,  convict. 

Kozha,  leather  ;   a  Lapp  name  for  seals. 

Krasni,  red. 

Kul,  lake. 

Kumis,  fermented  mare's  milk. 

Kurgan,  tumulus  ;   burial  mound. 

Kuropatka,  willow-grouse. 

Kvas,  intoxicant  made  from  barley. 

Lyeto,  summer. 

Mali,  Mai.,  small. 

Maralnik,  farm  where  maral  deer  are  kept. 

Mir,  village  assembly. 

Mis,  cape  ;   headland. 

Mogila,  Mog„  tomb. 

More,  sea. 

Navaga,  kind  of  cod. 

Nizhni,  lower. 

Nos,  headland. 

Novi,  new. 

Nyelma,  kind  of  salmon. 

Oblast,  territory. 

Ostrog,  block-house ;  stockade. 

Ostrova,  island. 

Otrassl,  Otr.,  mining  settlement  in  Urals 

Ozero,  lake. 




Pagost,  Lapp  settlement. 

Pereket,  Per.,  sand-bank  or  bar. 

Pereval,  Per.,  pass. 

Perevoz,  ferry. 

Piket,  Pik.,  P.,  picket  station. 

Pless,  straight  reaches  of  a  winding  river. 

Pochtovaya  kontora,  post-office. 

Poch.  stanitsa,  posting  station. 

Pogost,  church  without  village. 

Pogron,  government  tax. 

Polustantsia,  intermediate  station  or  stage. 

Porog,  rapid  on  a  river. 

Posad,  Pos.,  suburb. 

Povarnya,  Povarni,  post-station  on  i emote  road. 

Poviet,  storeshed. 

Pristan,  Pr.,  landing-place. 

Proliv,  strait. 

Raskolnik,  dissenter. 

Rasputitsa,  season  impossible  for  travel. 

Razdvoenie,  railway  junction  or  crossing. 

Razyezdni  puti,  railway  siding. 

Ryeka,  river. 

Samovolni,  voluntary  emigrants. 

Sast,  town  dweller  of  Turkish  origin. 

Selo,  village  with  church. 

Shar,  strait. 

Sklad,  Ski.,  warehouse  or  depot. 

Skoptsi,  eunuchs,  a  fanatical  sect. 

Sori,  shallow  backwater. 

Sredni,  middle. 

Stanitsa,  Stan.,  station  ;  Cossack  post. 

Stari,  old. 

Starovyeri,  old  believers. 

Svyatoi,  holy. 

Syeverni,  north. 

Taiga,  coniferous  forest. 

Tarantass,  four-wheeled  carriage. 


Tarine,  freezing  to  the  bottom  of  certain  rivers. 

Telega,  cart. 

Tolsti,  thick. 

Trakt,  great  Siberian  road. 

Treska,  cod. 

Troika,  team  of  horses. 

Tundra,  swampy,  treeless  Arctic  plains. 

Tup  a,  winter  dwelling  of  Lapps. 

Uba,  tomb  of  local  hero  (Kirghiz). 

Urman,  swampy  thickets. 

Urus,  Yukaghir  tent. 

Uste,  Ust-,  river  mouth. 

Uyezd,  district. 

Verkhni,  upper. 

Viezha,  summer  dwelling  of  Lapps. 

Viski,  channel  between  lakes. 

Volok,  isthmus  ;   portage. 

Volost,  canton  or  cantonal  assembly. 

Vostok,  east. 

Yamshchik,  posting  driver. 

Yar,  cliff;   bluff. 

Yarus,  great  lines  used  in  fishing. 

Yassak,  tribute. 

Yug,  south. 

Yurta,  Yurt,  tent. 

Zaimishche,  Zaim.,  low  ground  between  river  and  hills. 

Zaimka,  Z.,  settlement  of  one  or  a  few  houses. 

Zaliv,  strait. 

Zamor,  the  dying  of  the  waters,  see  dur. 

Zapad,  west. 

Zavod,  factory. 

Zemlya,  land. 

Zemstvo,  provincial  assembly. 

Zhelyeznaya  doroga,  Zhel.,  railway. 

Zhelyezoplavilni  zavod,  Zhel.,  iron  foundry. 

Zherlo,  mouth. 

Zimia,  winter. 

Zimove,  winter  dwelling. 


Abakan  R.,  40,  272 
Abakanskoe,  272 
Achinsk,  331,  344,  350, 

Achinsk    district,    239, 

251,  250,  311 
Administration,       310- 

Adun-Chclonsk  Mt.,  290 
Agan  R.,  80 
Agriculture,    33,     193- 

190,  232-247,  300 
Aigun,  354,  304 
Aigun,  Treaty  of,  302 
Ainov  I.,  308 
Akhatolskaya       mines, 

Akmolinsk,  331,  352 
Akmolinsk  district,  301 
Akmolinsk  Province : 
309,  310,  312 
agriculture,  234, 

247,  203 
manufactures,  312 
population,  200, 201 
stock-raising,    248, 
Aksha  district,  241,  312 
Albazin,  89, 300 
Aldan  Mts.,  19 
Aldan  R.,  40,  70,  244, 

283,  291 
Alei  R.,  290 
Aleks- :   see  also  Alex- 
Aleksandrovskoe,  303 
Aleksyeevsk,   235,  240, 

348,  349,  355 
Aleuts,  128 
Alexandrovsk     (Kola), 

214,  330,  332 
Alexandrovsk      (Sakha- 

administration,  312 

climate,  38 
industry,  270 
minerals,  292 
population,  214 
telegraphs,  330 
Alexis  Mikhailovieh, 

Tsar,  188 
I  Altai  Mts. : 

agriculture,        234, 

climate,  32 
fauna,  52,  54,   50, 

57,  252 
minerals,  275,  284, 

285,  290 
vegetation,  40,  49, 
Altai  Railway,  350,  352 
Altaians,  150-159 
Altaiskaya,  350 
Amga  R.,  40,  288 
Amgun  R,  54,  272,  275, 

Amur  Bay,  292 
Amur  Bridge,  348 
Amur  estuary,  81 
Amur    goldfields,    282, 

Amur  Govt.,  312 
Am m-  Province  : 

309,  310 
agriculture,      239- 

242,  240,  247 
colonization,  203 
industry,  205,  270, 

minerals,  282,  288, 

stock-raising,    248, 
251, 253, 255, 250 
Amur     Railway,     335, 

342,  347-349,  304 
Amur  region  : 

climate,  32,  33,  37   I 

fauna,  53,  55,   50, 

57,  87,  91 
history,  300-302 
industries,  205, 266, 

minerals,  272 
vegetation,  47 
Amur  R.,  24 

colonization,  20, 


330,  333 
fisheries,  80-83 
freezing,  40,  41 
Anabar  R.,  41 
Anadir  Bay,  78 
Anadir  district,  284,  312 
Anadir  R.,  41 
Anaul,  114 

Angara  district,  80,  280 
Angara  R.,  41,  209,  272, 

Angara  R.,  Upper,  74, 

Antimony,  288 
Anyui  fair,  89 
Anzherski  mine,  290 
Apiculture,  250,  257 
Ara  Bay,  00 
Aral  Sea,  32 
Arctic  Railway,  353 
Arctic   Russia,   53,   01, 
Argun  R.,  41,  274,  290 
Arkhangel,  30,  35,  332, 

Arkhangel   Govt..    305, 

307,  308 
Arkhangel  Railway,  352 
Asbestos,  280 
Askold  I.,  50,  284 
Atbasar,  207,  274,  331, 

Atbasar  dist.,  232,  312 
Atbasar  R.,  39 

Atmospheric     pressure, 

Australia  : 

trade,  267,  268 
Avacha  Bay,  77 
Avakum,  203 
Ayaguz  R.,  39 
Ayakhta  R.,  288 
Ayamskoe  L.,  288 
Ayan,  37 



lidaratskaya  Gulf,  354 
Baikal,  344,  345 
Baikal  L.,  26,  269 
climate,  31,  33 

fauna,  59 
fisheries,  74 
minerals,  287,  291, 
Baikal  Mts.,  296 
Balagansk     dist.,     251, 

Baleginsk,  272 
Balei  R.,  41 
Balkhash  L.,  30 
Baraba  steppe,  27 
agriculture,  233 
fauna,  54 
minerals,  294,  295 
vegetation,  49 
Barabash,  244 
Barents  Sea,  354 
Barguzin    district,    54, 

203,  275,  312 
Barguzin  goldfields,  282 
Barguzin  R.,  41,  74 
Barim,  346 
Barnaul : 

administration,  311 
agriculture,      235- 

climate,  36 

331,  350 
industry,  257,  298, 

300-302,  304 
trade,  92,  260 
Barnaul    district,    236, 
237,  311 


Baron  Korfa  Gulf,  293    j 
Baruntorei  L.,  294 
Beketov,  360 
Beltirs,  153 
Berekul  mine,  280 
Berezov,  30,  330,  358 
Berezov  district : 

administration,  311  . 
agriculture,  232 
fauna,  86 
fisheries,  71 
minerals,  289 
population,  207 
Bering  I.,  333 
Bezpopovists,  190,  204    ! 
|  Big  R„  274 
jBiisk,  331 
i  Biisk  district : 

administration,  311 
agriculture,    235, 

236,  238 
apiculture,  256 
fauna,  61 

industries,  298,  302 
Biliktui  R.,  41 
Birar,  180 
Birds,  60-62 
Biryusa  R.,  41 
Biya  R.,  39 
Blagodat,  284 
Blagoslovennoe,  204 
Blagovyeshchensk  : 

administration,  312 
agriculture,      240- 

climate,  38 
communications,       ! 

history,  360,  364 
industry,  267,  269, 

minerals,  276,  2*3 
stock-raising,    251,  . 

trade,  89 
Bochkarevo,  240 
Bodaibo,  276,  281,  282, 

330,  351,  354 
Bogom-Darovanni  mine, 

Bogoras,  Dr.,  190 
Bogoslovski,     36,     271, 
274,  288 


Bogoslovski       Railway, 

Bolshaya      Volokovaya 

Bay,  214 
Bolshoi-Patom,  282 
Borzinsk  L.,  294 
Borzya,  345 
Boshagoch  R,,  288 
Boundaries,      15,     309, 

Bozhe  L.,  73 
Bratski-Ostrog,  272 
British  interests  in  Si- 
beria, 258,  273,  274, 

277,  280,  290 
Buddhists,  220 
Building  stone,  295 
Bureya,  240 
Bureya  goldfields,  282, 

Bureva  valley,  267,  275, 

291,  349 
Burlinskoe  L.,  294 
Burukanskaya, 89 
Buryats,   169-172,  226, 

Buryatskava,  345 
Buse,  359/361 
Byeguni,  219 
Byela  valley,  256 
ByelayaR.,41,  296 
Byelokurikha      springs, 



Cables,  331,  332 
Calendar,  369 
Camels,  254 
Cattle,  250-252 
Caucasus  Mts.,  273,  284 
Changchun,  342 
Chani  L.,  67,  72 
Chapogir,  178 
Charish  R.,  39,  296 
Chelyabinsk,    195,    199, 

235,  329,  343 
Chemashevskoe,  353 
Cheremkhovskoc,     239, 

290,  303 
Chernozem,  49 
Chikoi  R,,  41,  291 
Chima  R.,  41 



China  : 

trade,  208,209,304, 
Chinese,    208-210,    245, 

300,  360-305 
Chinese    Eastern    Rail- 
way,   328,    341,    342, 

347,  354,  303 
Chinese  industries.  304 
Chita,  52,  251,  267.  312, 

330,  331 
Chita  district,  203,  295, 

Chlya  L.,  275,  284 
Chnuirrakh  Point,  330 
Chodinski,  282 
Chuguchak,  331 
Chukchee,  96-106,  224, 

Chukchee    Peninsula, 

255,  284 
Chukotsk  district,  312 
Chulim,  343 
Chulim  R.,  39,  71,  250, 

291,  343 
Chuinish  R.,  286 
Chuvanzi,  114 
Circumbaikal    Railway, 

343,  344 
Clergy,  217 
Climate,  28-43 
Climatic  regions,  34-38 
Coal,  288-293,  307 
Coasts,  27 
Commander  Is.,  59,  78, 

80,  312,  333 
Copper,  273,  274,  307 
Cossacks,  187,  200-203, 

205,  317,  357-361 
Crimean  War,  361 
Currency,  368 


Daircn,  341,  363,  364 
Dairy  industry,  257-260 
Daurians,  182 
de    Castries    Bay,    330, 

332,  355,  361 
Dekabrists,  202 
Denmark  : 

trade,  259,  260,  268 
Dep  R.,  291 
Dczhnev,  359 

Dezhneva  Cape,  287,  333 

I  Dickson  I.,  333 

I  Diseases,  228-230 

I  Dissenters,  219 
Distilling  and  brewing, 

Diya  R.,  348 
Dogs,  328,  329 
Dolgans,  163 
Doroninsk  L.,  295 
Doukhobors,  220 
Dudinka,  290 
Due,  273,  292,  330 
Dvina  R.,  Northern,  25, 

66,  307 
Dzhigit  Bay,  274 
Dzhila  R.,  288 
Dzhugdzhur  Mts.,  49 
Dzungarian  trench,  20 

Early  conquerors,  358 
Ediger  Khan,  357 
Ekibas-tusc  mines,  289, 

Eri,  59 
Eskimo,  100 
Exile  system,  188,  197 

Factories,  299-304 

Fauna,  51-92 

Fedorova,  352 

Ferries,  325,  32(i 

Finns  : 

in  Arctic  Russia,  213 
in  Siberia,  199 

Finns,  Volga,  137 

Fisheries,  62-85 

Flora  :   see  Vegetation 

Fort  St.  Michael  (Alas- 
ka), 333 

Fram,  29,  30,  35 

Franz  Josef  Land,  35 

Freezing  of  rivers,  38-43 

Frolikha  L.,  74 

Fur,  85-41,  307 

Game,  91 

Gavrilova  Bav,  214 
Gedik,  349 

Germany  : 

trade,  200,  273.  286 

Gilui  R„  283 

Gilyaks,  84,  121-126 

Gizhiga  Bay,  78,  293 

Gizhiga  district,  312 

Gizhiga  R.,  41 

Glass  and  china,  302 

Goats,  253 

Gold,  275-284 

Goldi,  184-186 

Gondatti,  240 

Gondatti,    Gov. -Gen., 

Graphite,  287 

Great  Britain  : 

trade,     260,     204, 
267,  268,  286 

Great  Khingan  Range, 
19,  20,  346,  348 

Green   Harbour  (Spits- 
bergen), 332 

Grigorevski,  331 

Grodekovo,  347 

Gurevskoe,  272 

Gusinoe  L.,  291 

Harbin  :    see  Kharbin 
Hokushu,  332 
Horses,  249,  250,  322 
Hunghuses,  211 

Ildekanski,  288 
Ilga  R.,  41 
Him  R.,  41 
Iman,  333 
Iman  district,  3 1 2 
Imandra  L.,  66 
Immigration,  191-196 
Imperatorskaya     Bay, 

85,  268,  355 
Indigirka  R.,  24,  41,  50, 

91,  359 
Industry,  256,  270,  297- 

304,  314 
Ingd  (Norway),  332 
Ingoda  R.,  41,  42,  288, 

291,  345,  347 
Irbit,  87,  88,  253,  353 
Irbit  fair,  87-89 
Irbit  R,,  39 

Iret  R.,  290 

Irkutsk  : 

t     administration,  311 
agriculture,  239 
climate,  30 
330,  344,  345,  354 
industry,  209,  298- 
trade,  89 
Irkutsk  Province  : 

309,  311 
agriculture,  240, 

colonization,  201 
fauna,  87 
industry,  204 
minerals,  281,  295, 

stock-raising,    248, 
251,  253-255 
Iron,  271-273,  307 
Irrigation,  234,  241 
Irtish  R.,  20,  25 

agriculture,  237 
330,     331,     343, 
351,  354 
fisheries,  07,  09 
freezing,  39 
minerals,  293 
vegetation,  40 
Iset  R.,  40,  274 
Ishim  : 

administration,  311 
climate,  30 

industry,  98 
trade,  87 
Ishim  R.,  40,  343 
Ishim  steppe,  32,  49,  54, 

Ivan  the  Terrible,  358 
Ivory,  fossil,  92 
Iya  R.,  42 

Japan  : 

interests  in  Siberia, 
79,  304,  305 


i  trade.  78,  84,  208, 

269,  304 
Japanese,  211,  299 
Jews,  220 


Kada  L.,  27 
Kadainski  silver-works, 

285,  288 
Kaibals,  154 
Kainsk,  200,  257 
Kainsk     district,     234, 

250,  311 
Kalami  R.,  281 
Kalmuks,  150 
Kamassins,  154 
Kamchadals,  117-121 
Kamchatka  : 

310,  312 

climate,  32,  33,  37 

colonization,  205 

330,  333 

fauna,  53,  54,  50, 

fisheries,  70-80 

history,  359 

minerals,  273,  274, 
283,  288,  293, 

population,  208 

vegetation,  48 

volcanoes,  18 
Kamchatka  valley,  245, 

Kamen,  235 
Kamishta  R.,  280 
Kampentszyaika  R.,  294 
Kan  R.,  42,  287 
Kandakova,  287 
Kandalaksha,    04,    332, 

Kanin  Nos,  332 
Kanin  Peninsula,  33,  06 
Kansk,  195,311,344 
Kara  Sea,  59,  65 
Karabas  L.,  293 
Karachi,  235 
Karagan  R.,  286 
Karagandinsk  mine,  289 
Karagassis,  154 
Karclians,  131-133 


Karimskaya,  344,  345 
Karkaralinsk,  207,  272 
Karkaralinsk     district, 

274,  313 
Karmakul,  35 
Kartisak  R.,  40 
Katun  R.,  280 
Kern,   35,   04,   00,   332, 

Kerak,  348 
Kerbinski,  333 
Keret,  64,  305 
Kerkidal  spur,  344 
Khabarov,  187,  300 
Khabarovsk  : 

administration,  312 

climate,  38 

330,  333,  348,  349 

fisheries,  81-83 

forestry,  312 

history,  360 

industry,  302,  303 

trade,  252 
Khaipudirskaya     Bay, 

Khaita,  302 

Range,  344 

Khara-Ulakh  R.,  42 
Khara  valley,  250 
Kharbin,  240,  241,  329, 

340,  355,  363 

Railway,  364 
Kharkov,  252 
Khatanga  R.,  42 
Khilok  R.,  42,  291,  345, 

Khlusti,  220 
Kholmogor,  300 
Khor  R,  42 
Kile,  180 
Kiparisov,  347 
Kiransk  L.,  295 
Kirenga  R.,  42,  272 
Kirensk  district,  87,  31 1 
Kirghiz,  100-103 
Kirghiz  steppes,  27 

agriculture,  233 

fauna,  52,  57 



fisheries,  67 

industry,  86,  297 

minerals,  272-274, 

vegetation,  50 
Kishtim  mines,  284,  288 
Kiya  R.,  40,  343 
Kizi  L.,  27 

Klyuchevskaya  Mt.,  18 
Knyaz  Bay,  64 
Kobdo,  331 
Kochenevo,  235 
Kokchetav,    207,     232, 

312,  353 
Kola,  35,  214 
Kola  Inlet,  214,  305 
Kola  Peninsula,  24 

climate,  35 

332,  351 

fauna,  66 

minerals,  307,  308 
Kolehugino,  290,  350 
Kolezhma,  65 
Kolguev  L,  66 
Kolima  R.,  24 

agriculture,  245 

fisheries,  75 

freezing,  42 

industry,  265 

minerals,  274 
Kolimsk  Mts.,  21 
Kolivan,  304 
Kondinskoe,  330 
Kondom  R.,  71 
Konstantinovskaya,  274 
Kopal,  331 
Korea,  268 
Koreans,  204,  210,  212, 

Korsakov,  361 
Koryakov  L.,  293 
Koryaks,  96,  106-113 
Kosh-Agach,  331 
Kostroma,  354 
Kovda,  64 
Kozachinskoe,  330 
Krasnoufimsk,  354 
Krasnovodsk,  331 
Krasnoyarsk  : 

administration,  311 

climate,  36 

com  munications, 

industry,  299,  301, 

minerals,  276,  287 
trade,  74,  239 
Kruglikov,  349 
Kuan-cheng-tsu,       341, 
i  Kuenga,  347 
Kuenga  R.,  347 
Kukhtui  R..  42 
Kulachinskoe,  235 
Kulcha,  89 
Kuldzha,  331 
Kultuk,  331,  344 
Kulundinsk  steppes,  350 
Kumarskaya,  361 
Kunerma,  354 
Kurgan  : 

administration,  311 
agriculture,        235, 

climate,  36 
industry,  257,  259, 
298,  300,  301 
Kuril  Is.,  364 
Kustanai,  352 
Kustarni  industries, 

Kuta  R.,  42 
|  Kuznetsk,  298,  350 
Kuznetsk  district : 

administration,  311 
agriculture,  238 
fisheries,  71 
industry,  256 
minerals,  290 
timber,  263 
|  Kyakhta  : 

climate,  37 

20,  354 
trade,  89,  301,  314 
Kyundyaya  R.,  294 

Lagar-Aul  Mts.,  348 

Lakes,  26 

Lamut,  178 

Land   tenure,    193-196, 

Lapps,  128-131,213 

Lazarev  Cape,  330,  331 
Lead,  285 
Lefu  valley,  205 
Lena  R.,  24,  25,  265 
agriculture,  244 

330,  354 
fauna,  56,  58 
fisheries,  75 
freezing,  42 
history,  359 
minerals,  272,  274, 
275,     290,     291, 
295,  354 
population,  207 
vegetation,  47 
Local  Government,  3 11- 

Lower    Tunguska    R.  : 

see  Angara  R. 
Lozva  R.,  286 
Lyavozcrski,  130 


Malaya -Bistray a  valley, 

Malinovka,  240 

Malinovskaya  Cape,  345 

Mama  R.,  287 

Mammals,  52-60 

Manchu,  183,  204 

Manchuria,  345-348, 364 

Manegir,  179 

Manganese,  288 

Mangut,  331 

Maniza  :   see  Voguls 

Manses,  204,  209 

Manzi :  see  Manses 

Manzurskava,  330 

Maps,  13-14 

Maral  deer,  255 

Mare-Sale  Cape,  332 

Mariinsk,  344,  361 

Mariinsk  district : 

administration,  311 
agriculture,    234, 

fisheries,  81 
minerals,  280,  286 
vegetation,  263 

Maritime  Province  : 
310,  312 

agriculture,        239, 
colonization,  204 
fauna,  87 
industry,  256,  260, 

270,  304 
minerals,  273,  274, 

283,  291,  292 
stock-raising,     251, 

vegetation,   265, 
267,  269 
Marka-Kul  L.,  67 
Markovo,  78,  245,  333 
Martuk  Station,  352 
Maya  R.,  42,  76 
Mercury,  288 
Mergen,  355 
Mczen,  Gulf  of,  65 
Mezen  R.,  66,  307 
Mica,  287 
Minusinsk,     301,     304, 

331,  350 
Minusinsk  district : 

administration,  311 
agriculture,       239, 

colonization,  201 
minerals,  274,  288, 

291,  295 
stock-raising,    251, 
Mir,  315-317 
Mishkina,  235 
Misovaya,  344,  354 
Misovsk,  272 
Miyas  district,  280 
Mohammedans,  220 
Molchalyniki,  220 
Molokani,  204,  220 
Mongol-Dabanski  mines, 

Mongolia,  365 
Mongolian  frontier,  287 
Mongugai  coal-field,  292 
Mordvinians,  137 
Moscow  : 

trade  82,  88,  250 
Motors,  153 
Mramorni  Point,  273 
Mukden,  329 
Muravie  v- Amurski , 
Count,  340,  357.  36 1 



Murman    coast,    62-64, 

213,  307,  332 
Murman  Railway,   334, 

351,  352,  353 
Murmansk,     214,     332, 

Myandukhe,  346 


Nadezhdinskaya,  347 

Nadezhdinski  works,353 

Nagasaki,  331 

Nai  R.,  282 

Nakhodka  Bay,  304 

Narim,  36 

Narim  district : 

colonization,  207 
fauna,  61,  254 
fisheries,  71 
industry,  86 
vegetation,  238 

Nayakhanskoe,  333 

Negda,  180 

Neo-Siberians,  95,  222, 

Nercha  R.,  42 

Nerchinsk  : 

climate,  38 
fauna,  54 
history,  360 
minerals,  286 

Nerchinsk  district,  241, 

Nerchinsk  Range,  296 

Nerchinsk,    Treaty    of, 

Nerchinski  Zavod,  312 

Nevelski,  361 

Nevelski  district,  310 

New  Siberia  Is.,  92 

Nicaea,  Council  of,  218 

Nikon,  190,  216 

Nikolaevsk  : 

administration,  310 
agriculture,  241 
climate,  30,  38 

330,  333,  355 
fauna,  52 
fisheries,  82,  83 


history,    340,    361, 

minerals,  276 
trade,  89,  266 
Nikolaevsk  district,  80, 

81,  265 
Nikolsk-Ussuriski  : 

agriculture,  243,244 

347,  349,  350 
industry,  25<>,  302 
trade,  252 
Niman  R.,  283 
Nizhne-Kolimsk,    207, 

Nizhne -Novgorod,  88, 

Nizhne-Sharonai,  287 
Nizhne-Tagilski,  288 

Nizhne-Udinsk,  344 
Nizhne-Udinsk  district, 

Nome  (Alaska),  333 
Norwegians,  213 
Novaya-Kuka,  291 
Novaya  Zemlya,  35 
Novi-Selenginsk,  37, 294 
Novo-Kievskoe,  331 
Novo-Mariinsk,  333 
Novo-Nikolaevsk  : 
colonization,  207 

331,  350 
fauna,  61 
industry,  235,  236, 

269,  301,  303 
trade,  251,  259 
Nyandoma,  352 
Nyetovsti,  220 
Nyukhcha,  65 

Ob,  344 

Ob  basin,  46,  66-71 
Ob  R.,  24-26 

330,  343,  353 

fisheries,  66-71 

freezing,  40 

minerals,  289 

vegetation,  46 



Obdorsk,  35,  71, 80,  333, 

Odzhal,  L.,  27 

Oil,  303  :  sec  also  Petro- 

Oka  R.,  42,  272 

Okhotsk  : 

administration,  312 
climate,  30,  38 
colonization,  208 

330,  333 
fisheries,  76-80 
history,  359,  362 

Okhotsk,    Sea  of,    245, 

Olcha,  181 

Olekma  R.,  42,  54,  244 
Olekminsk,  31,  37,  244, 

Olekminsk    goldfields, 

275,  282 
Olcnek  R.,  42 
Olennyc,  178 
Olgi  Bay  : 

climate,  38 
colonization,  205 

industry,  255,  304 
minerals,  272,  273, 
Olgi  district,  312 
Olovyannaya,  287 
OmR.,40,  71 
Omolon  R.,  24 
Omsk  : 

administration,  309, 

communications , 
319,     326,     330, 

331,  34+ 
industry,  237,  257, 

269,  300-304 
trade,  250,  259,  260 
Omsk  district,  237,  312 
Onega,  66,  306,  307 
Onon  R.,  42,  274,  296 
Orenburg,  293,  331 
Orenburg  Govt,,  309 
Oroche,  183 
Orochon,  178 
Orokc,  181 

Orsk,  283,  352 
Osmiridium,  288 
Ostyak-Samoyedes,  148 
Ostyaks,    Ugrian,    138- 

Ostyaks  of  Yenisei,  126- 



Pai-Khoi  Range,  24 
Palaeo-Sibcrians,    95, 

222,  223,  225 
Pavlodar,  72,  235,  350 
Pavlodar  district,    232, 

Pechenga,  332 
Pcchenga  Gulf,  214 
Pechora  R.,  25 

agriculture,  306 

353,  354 
fisheries,  66 
industry,  305,  308 
stock-raising,  307 
Peking  Convention,  362, 

Pelim  valley,  263 
Penzhina  Bay,  77,   78, 

Penzhina  R.,  42 
Pereemnaya,  291 
Perm,  302 
Perm  Govt.,  309 
Pcrmyaks,  137 
Pervaya  Ryeka,  337 
Peter  the  Great,  217 
Peter  the  Great  Bay,  85 
Peterhead   (Scotland), 

Pctrograd  : 

trade,  78,  250 
Petroleum,  287 
Pctropavlovsk  : 

administration,  312 
agriculture,  245 
climate,  30,  31,38 

industry,  235,  301, 

trade,  250, 251,  300, 

Pctropavlovsk    district 
232,  237,  245,  312 

Petrozavodsk,  351 

Philippovsti,  219 

Pigs,  253 

Pi'levo  R.,  293 

Pinega,  306,  353 

Pishma  R.,  40 

Pitski  Mts.,  286 

Platinum,  286 

Podorozhna,  321 

Pogobi  Cape,  330.  332 

Pogranichnaya,  346 

Poles,  199 

Poletaevo,  352 

Polovinnaya,  303,  344 

Polui  R.,  40 

Pomorski  coast,  64 

Ponoi,  59 

Popovists,  190 

Port  Arthur,  341,  363, 

Portsmouth,  Treaty  of, 

Port  Vladimir,  00 

Posiet  Bay,  268,  304 

Posting    system,     320- 

Pottery,  303 

Poyarkov,  360 

Precipitation,  32,  35-38 

Prehistoric  Races,  356 

Priamur,  240,  267,  269, 

Pribilov  Is.,  59 

Prikhankoisk  basin,  349 

Primorsk  : 

administration,  312 
agriculture,    239, 

colonization,  204 
fauna,  52,  56,  255 
lisbcrics,  84 
industry,  299,  301 
minerals,  283 
stock-raising,    248 

vegetation,  265 

Pronge,  81 

Protestants,  220 

Providence  Bay,  32 

Pyasina  R.,  42 

Pyazina  R.,  40 


Radium,  288 
Railways,  334-340  :   see 

also  Siberian,   Amur, 

Rakhmanovski     spring, 


Reindeer,  103-106,  110, 
254,  327, 328 

Ribachi  Peninsula,  332 

Riderski  mines,  285,  351 

Rivers,   24-26,    32,    33, 

Roads,  319-326 

Robben  I.,  59 

Roman  Catholics,   220 

Rovaniemi,  332 

Russian    Orthodox 
Church,  216 

Russo-Japanese    Agree- 
ment (1916),  364 

Russo-Japanese    War, 

Sable,  90 

Sagastir,  29,  30,  35 
St.  Paul,  333 
Saitkovo,  353 
Sakhalin  : 

ad  ministration  ,309, 

310,  312 
agriculture,    244, 

climate,  32,  37 
colonization,   189, 


330,  332 
fauna,  55-57 
fisheries,  84 
history,  361,  364 
industry,  270 
minerals,  284,  287, 

291,  292 
stock-raising,  248 
trade,  304 
vegetation,  48,  265. 
Salt,  293-295 
Samara-Zlatoust    Rail- 
way, 340 
Samoyedes,    146-153, 


Sanagir,  181 
Sanitation,  230,  231 
Sawmills,  269 
Sayansk   Mts.,    19,   49, 

55-57,  246,  265 
Seal  fisheries,  58,  80 
Selemdzha  district,  310 
Selenga  plateau,  27 
Selenga  R.,  20 

colonization,  207 
fauna,  59 
fisheries,  74 
freezing,  42,  43 
Selenginsk  district,  203, 

Semeika,  69,  70,  312 
Semipalatinsk  : 

administration,  313 
agriculture,  235 
climate,  38 

331,  350,  352 
industry,  300,  301 
Semipalatinsk  district, 

Semipalatinsk  Territory : 
309,  310,  313 
agriculture,    232, 

minerals,  274,  280, 

293,  295 
population,  200, 201 
stock-raising,    248, 

249,  252 
vegetation,  263 
Sergiopol,  331 
Shamanism,  220-227 
Shamanski  spur,  344 
Shanogir  :   see  Sanogir 
Sheep,  252,  253 
Shenkursk  district,  305, 

Shilka  R.,  43,  291,  295, 

330,  345, 347 
Shilkinski,  286 
Shizhnaya,  65 
Shors,  160 
Shuya,  65 
Siberian  Railway,   330, 

334,  338-347 
Sikhota  Alin  Range,  48. 
330,  349 


Siktyakh,  245 

Silver,  284,  285 

Sisertsk  district,  274 

Skoptsi,  191,  220,  244 

Slavgorod,  350 

Sledging,  326-329 

Slyudyanka  R.,  295 

Sofiisk,  38,  355 

Solons,  183 

Solovetski,  332 

Soroka,  65,  351,  353 

Sosnovets  I.,  332 

Sosva  R.,  40,  286 

South  Manchurian  Rail- 
way, 342 

South  Muya  Range,  19 

South  Siberian  Railway, 

South     Ussuri    district, 

Soyots,  154 

Spasskaya,  270 

Sredne-Kolimsk,  260, 

Sredne-Kolimsk    dis- 
trict, 312 

Stanovoi  Mts.,  19, 20, 49 

Steppe  Govt.,  38,  200, 
309,  310,  312 

Stock-breeding,  306,  307 

Stranniki,  219 

Stryetensk,  195,  330 

Suchan  mines,  292 

Suchan     valley,      205, 

Sudzhenka,  290 

Suifun  R.,  43,  205 

Sukhona  volok,  65 

Sumski,  65 

Sungacha  valley,  205 

Sungari  R.,  241,  365 

Suputinka  R.,  43 

Surazhevka,  349 

Surgut  district,  71,  86, 

Sviyagino,  270 

Svyatoi  Nos,  332 

Tagilski  district,  274 
Tahcheng  :    see  Chugu- 

Taiga,  45-48 



Taimir  R.,  43 
Talaya  R.,  295 
Talienwan  :   see  Dairen 
Tanneries,  300 
Tara,  330,  354 
Tara  district,  238,  311 
Tara  R.,  280 
Tarbagatai :  see  Chugu- 

Tartars,  155-160 
Tartary,  Straits  of,  332 
Tashkent,  331 
Tatarskaya,  235,  350 
Tavda  R.,  40,  263,  301 
Tavgi,  147 
Taz,  Gulf  of,  US 
Taz  R.,  40,  357 
Telbes  R.,  271 
Telegraphs,    826,     329- 

Teleuts,  159 
Telposiz  Mt.,  23 
Temperature,  29-31,  35- 

Teriberskaya  Bay,  214 
Teriberski,  332 
Ternei  Bay,  268 
Territories,  309 
Teya  R.,  281 
Tienshan  Mts.,  19,  32 
Tigda,  240 
Tigilski,  330,  333 
Timan  Range,  23 
Timber,    261-270,    301, 

305,  306 
Time,  368 

Timovsk  district,  312 
Tin,  287 

Tobol  R.,  40,  343 
Tobolsk  : 

administration,  311 

climate,  30,  36 

330,  353 

fisheries,  70 

history,  358 

industry,  269,  298, 
301,  302 
Tobolsk    district,    238, 

Tobolsk  Govt.  : 

administration , 

agriculture,        232. 

238,  247 
colonization,      198, 

fauna, 254 
industry,  298 
stock-raising,    248, 

vegetation,  263 
Todo  Shima,  332 
Tolbuzin,  361 
Tolsti  Nos.,  35 
Tom  R.,  40,  71,  343 
Tomsk  : 

administration,  31 1 
agriculture,  237, 238 
climate,  30,  36 

industry,  2(59,  298, 

stock-raising,     249, 
Tomsk  district  : 

agriculture,  230, 238 
industry,  256 
minerals,  280,  286 
Tomsk  Govt.  : 


agriculture,        234. 

236,  246 
colonization,      199, 

fauna,  55 
industry,  303 
minerals,  271,  293- 

stock-raising,     248, 

vegetation,  203 
Towns,  313 
Trade,  236,  314 
Trakt,  319 

Transbaikal  Province  : 
309,  310,  312 
agriculture,       239- 

"241,  247 
climate,  32 
colonization,      202, 

203,  210 
fauna,  57 

industry,  264,  299 
minerals,  282,  288, 

291,  294,  295 
steppes,  50 
stock-raising,    248- 

251,  253-355 
vegetation,  47 
Transbaikal     Railway, 

342,  344-346 
Troitsk,  352 

35,  353 
Troitskosavsk,  331 
Troitskosavsk     district, 

288,  294,  312 
Tsagan-Da  Range,  345 
Tsagan-Khuntei  Range, 

Tsitsihar,  340,  354 
Tuba  R,,  43 
Tuloma  R.,  307 
Tulun,  354 
Tumen  R.,  302 
Tundra,  44,  4.1 
Tungus,  172-177 
Tunguska     R.,     Lower. 

43,  207,  287,  291 
Tunkinsk,  331 
Tura,  52 
Turanski,  365 
Turgai    Province,    20 1 , 

253,  309,  313 
Turinsk,  298,  353 
Turinsk  district,  80, 238, 

Turkic  tribes,  155 
Turukhan  R,,  43 
Turukhansk,  33,  35.  330 
Turukhansk  district  : 
administration,  311 
industry,  80 
population,  201 
stock-raising,    251, 
Tyukalinsk  district.  01, 

250,  311 
Tyumen  : 

agriculture,  237 
colonization,  199 

330,  354 
history,  358 



industries,  257,  209, 

298,  300-303 
stock-raising,  249 
Tyumen  district,  311 
Tyutikha  Bay,  208,  285, 

Uchur  R.,  43 
Uda  R.,  20,  43,  245,  291 
Udsk  district,  310,  312 
Udski-Ostrog,  245 
Ufalei,  354 
TJgra,  357 
Ugro-Samoyedes,     356, 

Ui  R.,  40 
Uigurs,  350 
Ukhta,  353 
Ukurei,  347 

Ulan-Burgasi  Range,  19 
Unalaska,  333 
Uni  Bolski  R.,  286 
United  States  : 

trade,  234,  209,  337 
Upper    Tunguska    R.  : 

see  Angara  R. 
Ural  Mts.,  23,  271,  273, 
275,    280,    284,    280, 
288,    289,    293,    353, 
Ural  Railway,  340 
Ural  R.,  72 
Uralsk,  201 
Urga,  354 
Uryankhai  district,  33, 

Uryum,  348 
Usinsk  district,  311 
Ussolye,  294,  301 
Ussuri  Cossack  district, 

Ussuri     Railway.     347, 

349,  355 
Ussuri  R.  : 

agriculture,        241, 

243,  245 
colonization,      205, 


330,  349 
fauna,  50 
fisheries,  81 

freezing,  43 
history,  362 
Ust-Kamenogorsk,  280, 

303,  351 
Ust-Kamenogorsk     dis- 
trict, 250, 313 
Ust-Kiranskaya,  294 
Ust-Kutskoe,  294,  354 
Ust-Orlinskaya,  285 
Ust-Zeya  :    see  Blagov- 
yeshchensk  :  history 
Utkinski  oilfields,  307' 

Vaigaeh,  332 
Vakh  R.,  8G 
Varsina  R.,  307 
Varzuga  R..  66 
Vasuigan    swamps,    .'52, 

Vegetation,  44-50 
Vehicles,  323 
Velsk  district,  300 
Verkhne-Iset     mines, 

284,  288 


works,  288 
Verkhne-Tagilski,  2 50 
Vcrkhnc-Udinsk  : 
climate,  37 

319,  331,  354 
history,  300 
minerals,  274 
population,  203 
Verkhne-Udinsk        dis- 
trict, 203,  312 
Verkholensk  district  : 
administration,  311 
fauna,  87 
minerals,  295 
stock-raising,  251 
Verkhoture,  319 
Verkhoyansk,     29,     37, 

207,  200 
Verkhoyansk      district, 

245,  255,  312 
Verkhoyansk  Mts., 22, 49 
Vilyui  R„  43,  207,  275, 
282.  294 

Vilyuisk,  330 
Vilyuisk  district,  312 
Virma,  05 
Vitim    goldfields,    275, 

282,  280 
Vitim  plateau,  27 
Vitim  R.,  351 
Vitimsk  district,  54,  311 
Vladimir,  210 
Vladimir  Bay,  273 
Vladivostok,  27,  312 
climate,  30,  32,  37, 

319,  329-331. 
333,  340,  347 
history,  303 
industry,     79,     83, 

243,  270 
minerals,  274,  291 
trade,  82,  252,  208, 
Voguls,  130,  137 
Volcanoes,  18 
Vologda,  352 
Volosts,  310 
Volshaya  R.,  284 
Voriema  R.,  332 
Voronov,  332 
Votyaks,  137 
Vyatka-Kotlas       Rail- 
way, 353 
Vyerni,  331 

Weights  and  measures, 

Whales,  60 
White  Sea,  35,  04,  305- 

307,  332 
Winds,  31 

Wireless  telegraphs,  332- 

Yablonoi  Mts.,  19,  345 
Yakuts,    115,    163-108, 

Yakutsk  : 

administration,  312 
agriculture,  244 
climate,  29, 37 
3.-{<  > 



history,  187,  359 
industry,  299 
minerals,  272 
Yakutsk  Province  : 

administration,  312 
agriculture,        244, 

colonization,  202 
industry,  87 
minerals,  285 
stock-raising,    248, 
250,  255 
Yalutorovsk  district,  31 1 
Yamsk,  333 
Yana  R.,  24,  43,  265 
Yaroslav,  354 
Yaya  R.,  343 
Yekaterinburg,    188, 

Yekaterinoslavka,  240 
Yenisei  R,  24,  25,  26 
agriculture,        239, 

colonization,  207 
325,     326,     330, 
fauna,  54,  61 
fishories,  72-74 
freezing,  43 
history,  356 
industry,  240 

minerals,  272.  281, 

287,     290,     291, 


vegetation,  46,  265 

Yenisei-Samoyedes,  148 

Yeniseisk  : 

climate,  30,  31,  36 

330,  354 
history,  359 
industry,  299 
trade,  74,  89 
Yeniseisk  goldfields,  286 
Yeniseisk  Province  : 

agriculture,  246, 

'  247 
colonization,  201 
industry,    86,    260, 

minerals,  281,  288 
stock-raising,    248, 
25 1 ,  253-255 
Yermak,  187,  358,  359 
Yevgenevka :      see 

Yugan  R.,  86 
Yugor  Strait,  332 
Yukaghir,  97,  113-117 
Yuraks,  147 
Yurga,  350 

Z  ' 

Zaisan,  301,331 
Zaisan  district,  232,  313 
Zaisan   L.,   27,   67,   71, 

234,  280 
Zalara  R.,  43 
Zavitaya  R.,  43,  256 
Zeya  district,  310 
Zeya  R.  : 

climate,  43 

fauna,  54 

freezing,  43 

minerals,  275,  283 

vegetation,  267 
Zcya-Bureya  plain,  241 . 

Zeya-Pristan,  242,  267, 

276,  283 
Zhalinda  R.,  283 
Zhigalovskaya,  354 
Zhigansk,  296 
Zima,  344 
Zinc,  285 
Zirians,  133-136 
Ziryanovskoe  silver- 
mines,  285 
Zmyeinogorsk,  257,  280, 

285,  301 
Zmyeinogorsk  district, 

252,  256,  311 
Zvanka,  351 









Great  Britain.  Naval  Intelli 
gence  Division 

A  handbook  of  Siberia  and 
Arctic  Russia